Utilizing green building practices helps move project toward golden success

The largest building acquisition yet by Neyer Properties is on the fast track to become a major distribution hub for Hamilton County that will boost tax revenues for the city of Sharonville for its convention center and downtown projects.

Neyer Properties has begun $4 million in improvements to the Gateway 75 building in Sharonville— 1.1 million square feet of office, warehouse and distribution space it purchased in June of this year.
Gateway 75 is located on 75 acres of land on Kemper Road in Sharonville, adjacent to the intersection of I-75 and I-275.

Exterior painting is complete, and the other construction projects are expected to be finished by the end of the year. Neyer is actively seeking tenants eager to lease space at the site, which houses one of the largest contiguous spaces available in the region.

On Sept. 27, the city of Sharonville approved $1.8 million in tax increment financing (TIF) funds that Neyer will use to help fund improvements. The TIF will generate tax revenue that will fund schools and city improvements within Sharonville.

According to Cincinnati Commercial Realtors’ bulk warehouse survey report, the Sharonville/Springdale area currently has a vacancy rate of 30 percent. After Neyer completes site and building improvements as well as leases all of Gateway 75, the city’s vacancy rate will be reduced to 6 percent.

“The city of Sharonville is very excited to work with such a well-known and respected company as Neyer Properties,” said Virgil Lovitt, mayor of the city of Sharonville. “This building has so much potential and is in such an ideal location. With the success rate they have had in the past and the improvements they are making, we expect Gateway to be occupied quickly.”

Major Gateway improvements include: updating the building facade with architectural elements; the addition of 18 loading docks to the west side of the building that allows cross docking for greater flexibility for tenants; construction of a truck access road connecting the new docks and truck court to Canal and Kemper roads; landscaping at all entrances; installing monument signage that improves visibility along Kemper Road; installation of new energy-efficient LED lighting; and temperature control systems and sub-metering of HVAC and improved lighting systems for future tenants.

Always on the lookout to provide value for tenants by engaging in green building practices, Neyer also plans to install up to a seven-megawatt solar plant on the Gateway roof in 2011, making it the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Midwest. A plant of this size would offset 10 million pounds of carbon per year.

Neyer is finalizing a Power Purchase Agreement in which a third party leases space on the roof to install solar panels– which they then purchase– and sells the power back to Neyer.

Neyer also wants to make Gateway 75 the first industrial building in the state to be LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) certified for Existing Building Operations and Management. This certification will lower operating costs for tenants when the building’s heating, cooling and lighting operate more efficiently.

Currently there are only 51 industrial buildings in the nation that are LEED certified for Existing Building Operations Management. None are in the state of Ohio.

Neyer Properties recently earned the Energy Star rating for a redeveloped building in Florence, Kentucky, scoring in the top 25 percent for energy performance compared to other buildings with the same use, said Dan Neyer, president of Neyer Properties.

“Energy savings at Gateway will average 40 to 60 percent annually compared to power generated by fossil fuels,” he added. “This is a great opportunity for companies that want to lease space at a building that not only saves energy and the planet, but saves on utilities, too.”