Talks underway of making Carew Tower residential

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A historic building in downtown Cincinnati may be converted from offices to residential space.

On Friday, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls revealed talks are now underway to see if the future of Carew Tower could include condos and apartments.

"I think a lot of property owners that have what we now consider class B and class C office buildings all are looking at can they be re-purposed."

Class B and class C office buildings are generally older structures, which may no longer meet the needs of the modern office.

Built in 1931, Carew Tower was Cincinnati's tallest building for decades.

Fast forward to 2013, Qualls said now there's a glut of office space, while at the same time, there's a high demand for apartments in the downtown area.

"If you look at the prices that people are charging for both rental as well as for condominiums, it's a premium because there is such a demand, and there is very little product."

Taylor Knowles of Blue Ash learned first-hand how tight the market for apartments is while looking for a place to live downtown.

"I've been looking for like seven months, and it's been tough finding a place that's affordable, somewhere that I like and that I want to come home to everyday."

Taylor and his roommate Chris Gindele finally found a place to live at One Lytle Place. Gindele said downtown is where he wants to be. "I work downtown. All of my social... going to Reds games, Bengals games. The night life has really rejuvenated downtown. It's kind of the place to be now."

One Lytle Place property manager, Ashlee Osorio, said all that demand has caused availability for downtown apartments to shrink.

"We've definitely been running off of a wait list for about the last year or so. We're in the process of renovating our apartments on the turn and right currently, we do not have anything for immediate availability. We're out until mid February."

Qualls said discussions about converting Carew Tower are just getting underway, but she feels some movement forward can be expected in about six months.

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