Monday, April 5, 2010

Vibrant, diverse 'Restaurant Row' envisioned for Sixth Street

The Brandt Retail Group and Urban Focus are seeking restauranteurs to create a string of outdoor dining spaces that will build upon the synergy of Fountain Square and the Backstage District.

Cincinnati Restaurant Row would create five restaurant spaces along the ground floor of the 580 Building's Sixth Street side, a building that's already seen heavy investment in façade renovation and building upgrades over the past few years.

Spaces range from between 2,100 and 3,600 square feet and can be built out to users' specifications, but it's what's outside that makes the spaces so attractive, says Brandt Vice President and Director of Urban Focus Kathleen Norris.

"One of the truly unique assets of the building is that there's about 12 feet between the building line and the actual sidewalk," she says. "Once we recognized that, the destiny of those spaces seemed absolutely obvious since outdoor seating is possible all along that block of 6th street."

Lease rates, which have not been disclosed, are expected to be competitive with other restaurant spaces Downtown.

Ideally, that will lead to an assortment of dining styles.

"We're looking to put a lot of diversity into Cincinnati Restaurant Row and a lot of quality," Norris says. "Preferred users need have only two things in common: adding something new and special to Downtown and the Backstage District, and being very, very good at what they do. Ideally we might have the best soup and sandwich place in town next to a bistro or café operated by a talented hometown chef. And everybody will have their own area out front to use in Cincinnati’s fine weather months."

Traffic counts indicate that more than 3,000 people pass the corner of Sixth and Walnut streets between 11 A.M. and 2 P.M. Another 2,200 people pass that corner between 6 P.M. and 8 P.M.

"Downtown is absolutely hopping," Norris says. "With the terrific programming on Fountain Square, the coming of Hotel 21c, the streetcar, plus recent additions to the restaurant scene, there are a thousand reasons to come to town – as several million people a year, locals and travelers, have discovered. But with the location of Restaurant Row, and the opportunity for a concentration of sidewalk cafes, there’s still room for more diversity in dining options."

Brandt/Urban Focus already has a vision for what Cincinnati Restaurant Row can ultimately be, which is featured prominently in photographs on its website and on its Facebook page.

"Just imagine coming into town and seeing tables, umbrellas, flowers and folks enjoying themselves over a good meal!" Norris says. "Just think of being one of the folks sitting there, beverage of choice in hand, watching the passing parade."

SKETCH NOTE: Leasable areas include S400 and S600-S900. Images courtesy of Brandt Retail Group/Urban Focus.

Previous reading on BC:
UBS leaving 580 Building, to become first Kenwood Towne Place office tenant (3/17/08)