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150k-sq-ft victory center nears completion in health-tech corridor


Core and shell renovations of the 150,000-square-foot Victory Center, a $26 million project located along the Health-Tech Corridor, are almost complete. Tenant build-outs will follow, and although none have signed leases yet, developer Scott Garson says that will change as his team finishes the common spaces and shows the property to more prospective tenants.

"Everybody thinks it's wonderful, great… The trick is getting the first one in," he says. "I have enough letters of intent out there that I'm confident it's only a matter of time."

Garson says the demand is there for flexible, ready-to-grow office space geared towards biomedical, research and technology companies, which is why he decided to undertake the project. He points out that nearby buildings owned by Geis Companies and Cumberland Development are almost completely full.

So far, Garson has completed the project without a bank loan, using partner equity and a $720,000 loan from the city, $2.5 million in tax increment financing, federal and state historic tax credits, and a $1 million State of Ohio job ready sites grant. Garson expects to secure bank financing in the near future for tenant build-outs.

The building's unique features include a new interior with a historic waffle slab ceiling, window wells that allow plenty of natural light, copious backup power, fiber-optic connectivity, and the right mechanicals in place for laboratory space. The building will be certified LEED Silver, saving tenants 20 percent on utility costs. Finally, it has views of downtown, free parking and HealthLine access.

"We went through a recycling program with the materials and our landscaping uses stormwater management strategies," says Michael Augoustidis of Domukur Architects, the firm that designed the project. "It's very energy-efficient."

Although he's not ready to declare victory yet, Gardon says the historic building, which was built in 1917 as the Arts Center, is nearing the goal line and ready to score.


Source: Scott Garson
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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