Neyer Properties will invest in excess of $100 million to create a multi-use campus including residential loft-style apartments and renovation of the 12-story office tower while also adding a hotel, up to two restaurants, a “pocket park” and other amenities, all while improving the corridor into Walnut Hills and Eden Park.
Neyer has been working with the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Park Board, and Walnut Hills since the company purchased the property in late 2014 to create a master plan for the project. The centerpiece of the redevelopment is the transformation of the Grand Baldwin Building into 190 loft style apartments.
Dan Neyer, president of Neyer Properties has “eyed” the Grand Baldwin building property for 50 years and is excited about restoring the history and significance of this 1920s building by putting it in its rightful place for the benefit of our region. “Restoring buildings such as this is an opportunity for Cincinnati that cannot be wasted and must be honored,” said Neyer.
Neyer worked closely with the Cincinnati Park Board and executed a land swap, allowing for more effective uses of the acreage to the south of Grand Baldwin. Neyer plans to surround Grand Baldwin with a renovated office tower, new hotel, and is evaluating the option of additional residential units and restaurants to serve the office and residential uses of the development and surrounding area.
The land swap also allows the Park Board to create a new City-owned park, enhance signage to Eden Park, and increase pedestrian connectivity in the area. The park will serve as an additional amenity for the both office users and residents, as well as those in the surrounding neighborhood. The abandoned rail bridge over I-71 could serve as a pedestrian connection between Walnut Hills and downtown & Over-The-Rhine.
Neyer and the Park Board are also in discussion with the Cincinnati Art Museum about creating an art loop, a walking trail featuring different pieces of art, within and adjacent to the park.
“Eden Park and the Cincinnati Art Museum are gems of Cincinnati and deserve a grand entrance. Right now it’s hard to know the beauty and culture that is there until you are in the thick of it,” said Chris Dobrozsi, vice president, real estate development. “Bringing more people to this part of Walnut Hills – whether they are living at Baldwin or business professionals using Eden Park or the new pocket park during the week, it’s all about making the area more of a destination.”
The conversion of Grand Baldwin into an apartment building will bring approximately 280 residents to the site.
“The Baldwin project will serve as a fantastic gateway project and compliment to the work we’re doing as well as to one of our biggest assets – Eden Park,” said Kevin Wright, executive director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. “We’re thrilled to see that our hard work [revitalizing the Peeble’s Corner Business District] over the past 4-5 years is creating a momentum for the neighborhood as a whole.”
Neyer, with the help of the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio has recently obtained historic designation for the Grand Baldwin building and is incorporating many of the historic features in the design of the apartments. Work will begin May 2016 on the apartments with completion in Spring 2017.
The building was originally built as a manufacturing facility for the Baldwin Piano Company in 1921. After the Baldwin Company relocated, the building was converted to offices in the late 1980’s. When Neyer purchased the building in August 2014, the building was over 98 percent vacant.