FC Cincinnati to transform former brewery into massive office space

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Posted at 7:20 PM, Dec 03, 2021

CINCINNATI — FC Cincinnati’s ownership has plans to renovate one of Cincinnati’s most storied former breweries into a massive office space.

The property is the Tri-State Wholesale Building at 1550 Central Avenue. In the early 20th century after Prohibition, the building was home to Burger Beer, extending multiple city blocks at the time. Prior to that, it was home to Lion Beer, or the Windisch-Muhlhauser Brewing Company.

Steve Hampton, the executive director of the Brewing Heritage Trail, said the old brewery used to be one of the biggest in the country. It was also at one point the second-largest brewery in the city after Christian Moerlein.

“This is an interesting building. It’s not your typical historic building,” Hampton said. “It was built post-Prohibition. It’s concrete. It’s actually a pretty wide floor plate because it’s a modern industrial building, so it’s a little different challenge than our typical brick Over-the-Rhine building. So, number one, we’re happy it’s being preserved and re-used.”

Hampton notes it will need some modifications, but is hopeful the developers will maintain the spirit of the building.

“I’d much rather have the building reused and saved than torn down and something totally new built there," Hampton said.

FC Cincinnati and its development teams aim to transform the humdrum industrial space into a sleek, opulent place to work for Cincinnati professionals in post-pandemic life. The office space may have some retail on the ground floor, and be part of a larger mixed-use development.

“It’s the area that we’re really hoping to make this full, kind of vibrant, creative district with all kinds of different uses,” said Scott Abernethy of Cushman & Wakefield, one of the firms collaborating with FC Cincinnati to renovate the building. MSA Design and Perkins Eastman are also supporting the designs and planning for the project.

Offices will be spread across three floors, as well as a basement level. The project is projected to cost about $40 million. The developers are looking to book about three to five tenants to lease the space, then will start construction.

In a statement, FC Cincinnati Spokesperson Anne Sesler wrote:

“When we committed to building the stadium, we also committed to make the area around TQL Stadium a place where people can live, work and play. We want a thriving environment, not just an island...FCC’s Planned Development for the stadium site envisioned mixed-use development and we are pleased to see the former Tri-State warehouse be transformed…”

Developers plan on opening the space by mid-to-late 2023.

Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.

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