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Planned development near park will be smaller

A planned four-story office building overlooking the $2.5 million downtown National Road Commons park will be downscaled and could be potentially moved to a different location, according to the site developer.

Overlook Commons, a four-story, 60,000-square-foot office and retail complex at West Main and Center Streets, was expected to have space available in 2013, according to marketing materials of the developer, The Tipton Group.

The Tipton Group’s Steve Tipton said they’ll still be working the site, but could move the planned office building to a different location. He said they’re working with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce to bring different tenants to both buildings.

“We still would like to build on that location, and we’re looking at several other sites for the users who were going to go on that site, in addition to several other users,” Tipton said. “We’re also looking at other retail users to bring in.”

The Overlook Commons building could be built larger, Tipton said, depending on possible tenants. He said the development business ebbs and flows with different users.

“You just never know these days,” Tipton said. “In general, it’s being downscaled.”

Horton Hobbs, vice president for economic development for the chamber and the Community Improvement Corporation, said they’re pleased the project continues to move forward.

“We want to see a project that’s going to have the most opportunity for success,” Hobbs said. “I’m happy to see that investment continues to be on track.”

Hobbs said amenities like the National Road Commons, the in-development NTPRD Chiller Ice Arena and private investment at the Bushnell Building continues to make downtown an attractive investment opportunity.

The Overlook Commons development has taken longer than planned, Tipton said, but “it’s not untypical of development.” Tipton said they’re collaborating with the chamber, city and the Turner Foundation to develop and redevelop areas throughout town.

According to a Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce blog post in 2011, approximately 35,000 square feet of the project was committed with 25,000 square feet available next to the National Road Commons, 50 W. Main St.

Tipton couldn’t give specific details, but said one previously committed user has moved to a different site downtown, while another is still looking at their overall business plan.

National Road Commons, the $2.5 million downtown green space, was developed by the Chamber’s Community Improvement Corp. It’s currently the home of the Madonna of the Trail statue. The building is also located next to the Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital.

According to Clark County Auditor’s records, the property at 74 W. Main St. is owned by Wellington Square, LLC, the real estate arm of the Turner Foundation.

The rent was expected to be $17.20 per square foot at Overlooks Commons. With floor spaces at approximately 14,000-square-foot each, the rent was more than $248,000 per year, according to marketing materials.

Tom Franzen, assistant city manager and director of economic development, said there is a demand for new office space throughout the city, but it’s hard to measure. The rate is typical of other new office developments throughout Springfield, Franzen said.

“It’s a challenge, but you’ve got to find the right mix of folks who want that new space and are willing to pay that premium,” Franzen said.

The Tipton Group is also looking at developing another CVS pharmacy in the city. The group is a preferred developer for CVS, and has built over 40 locations in the Dayton area, including the location at 2565 E. Main St.

“We’re still looking at sites that could potentially become CVS sites in the area,” Tipton said. “We’re looking at many, many things for Springfield.”

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