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Deal To Rehab Historic Enquirer Building

City's Hotel Deal Boosts Economy, Rehabs Historic Enquirer Building

A deal to help boost the local economy was voted out of the City of Cincinnati's Budget & Finance Committee today that outlines a new use for the historic Enquirer Building on Vine Street in the Central Business District.

The old Enquirer building in Downtown CincinnatiThe Administration recommended the rehabilitation of a former office building that once housed the Cincinnati Enquirer into a 238-room hotel with 12,000 square-feet of street-level retail space. SREE Hotels, LLC has secured control of the building and plans to have the hotel open by the end of 2014.

The project will create 35 permanent full-time jobs, 20 permanent part-time jobs and 80 temporary construction jobs.

"It is always great when we can preserve and restore one of our historic, old buildings in Cincinnati," Mayor Mark Mallory said. "The deal also illustrates the increasing demand for more hotel rooms in Cincinnati. We have been focused on creating providing a great visitor experience for all of our guests, and that is paying off with increased tourism and convention business."

Upon approval by full Council, the Administration will execute a Community Reinvestment Area LEED Tax Exemption Agreement with SREE HOTELS, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability company. The agreement will reduce the tax liability associated with this new development by $7,290,600 over the 12-year life of the agreement. The total construction cost is approximately $27,320,000. The Community Reinvestment Area Tax Exemption Agreement aids in the development of a commercial structures by reducing operating expenses and promotes compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum standards (as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council).

"City government continues to strike deals that put people to work and helps our tax base," said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. "This deal and coupled with the renovations at the Hyatt help to build our capacity for bigger and bigger convention and meeting business that in turn help our economy."

SREE Hotels, LLC requests a 75 percent exemption on the increased tax value of the real property investment totaling approximately $27,320,000. The exemption would be for a period of 12 years.

Annual revenue to the School Board is estimated at $202,510; the 12-year revenue is estimated at $2,430,120.

The building was originally built to house the Cincinnati Enquirer's offices and printing operations in 1926 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Following the Enquirer's move from the building in 1992, the property was used as an office building for various entities until it was vacated for a condominium project that failed to materialize from 2007 to 2010.