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CINCINNATI --

The latest addition to Cincinnati's skyline seems to defy the recession plaguing the nation.

 

 

Great American Tower at Queen City Square is a $400 million mega-building that will re-shape downtown.

 

"We work in 43 cities around the country right now. This is the only high-rise we have currently going on in any of those cities," Turner Construction Vice President Ken Jones said. "This is a huge deal."

 

The skyscraper is more than a year from opening and already it is 80 percent pre-leased. But so far, all the people moving to the building are coming from other buildings in downtown Cincinnati.

 

"They need to stop right there in terms of stealing tenants from other buildings," Cincinnati Business Journal publisher Doug Bolton said.

 

Bolton said the move of Great American Financial And Frost Brown Todd from their current offices to the new building in the eastern part of the central business district could cripple the restaurants and stores that have built their livelihood around Fountain Square.

 

"There's a huge concern, and people have described it to me as this giant sucking sound out of the core of downtown," Bolton said.

 

But the president of Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated said he sees the soon-to-be-empty office space as an opportunity to attract new companies and new revenue to the city.

 

"At the end of the day, if there isn't growth, if there isn't more, then, really, we are, in fact, all spinning our wheels," David Ginsburg said.

 

The developer estimates Great American Tower is saving or creating almost 9,000 jobs in Cincinnati. That number includes a prediction that Great American Financial would have moved out of Cincinnati if it wasn’t able to consolidate its offices.

 

Copyright 2009 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Video of the news story and building here:

http://www.wlwt.com/money/21795311/detail.html

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