Economic development
3:35 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

dunnhumbyUSA building new HQ & preparing for future growth

Construction is just getting underway on dunnhumbyUSA's new office building at the corner of Fifth and Race in downtown Cincinnati. 

City Council could vote Wednesday on a modified agreement that would let the firm eventually expand at the site. 

Chad Munitz is with 3CDC, which is helping to develop the project.  He said the latest document does a couple things.

“We originally contemplated doing residential and because of the floor print the now much larger office building that dunnhumby is doing and then wanting to enable them to expand, we have removed residential,” Munitz said.  “And then the second part, dunnhumby wanting to be able to expand in the future, and so this agreement allows them to purchase the top three levels of the parking garage to expand into in future dates.”

Right now the $125 million project includes six floors of parking, one for retail development and nearly five floors of office space. 

Council Member Laure Quinlivan questioned the latest development agreement.

“If dunnhumby believes that in the future it’s going to need more office space, why don’t we just build a taller building with more office instead of taking away the parking,” Quinlivan said.

City officials do expect the parking garage to get a lot of use.  Jeff McElravy is the city's downtown development manager.

“We view office space on this site in particular as a higher and better use for that real estate,” McElravy said.  “This is something that would happen at least seven years from now at the earliest.  So there’s an opportunity for us to explore opportunities to bring additional parking to the market in the meantime.”

Officials said there's no money right now to make the building bigger for the company's anticipated growth.  They also say in the future it will be cheaper to convert the parking space to offices rather than add to the top of the building.

The new dunnhumbyUSA building is scheduled to be completed in December 2014.