The public will get an extended peek at the potential future of the former Ohio Casualty complex during Thursday’s Hamilton State of the City event.
Justin Lichter, vice president of Industrial Realty Group LLC, which owns the former insurance complex, said this should help potential tenants envision their future in the buildings at 131 and 136 N. Third St.
“When you walk in now, unless you have a vision or a rendering, it’s really hard to see how it could look,” Lichter said.
Gone from the areas that will be on display during Thursday’s 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. event are the 1970s-era interiors, replaced by spaces updated to today’s preferred work spaces, with natural light and modern furnishings in about 5,000 square feet of office space, a redone lobby and a conference room.
“They are going to be showing a piece of the building that’s a view into the future of how it could look with individual office spaces leased out, which is the direction I believe they’re going,” said Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the event.
“This is the first time people will be able to get through there in close to 10 years, I think it’s been seven or eight at least,” Bates said.
The discussion comes at a time Hamilton is experiencing a downtown rebirth, with plans to spark its development further. City officials hope next month to sign a development agreement to create Spooky Nook at Champion Mill, a gigantic indoor sports complex, similar to a sister complex in Pennsylvania that had 1.1 million visitors last year.
Descriptions of the city’s recent successes as well as its future plans will be presented by City Manager Joshua Smith and Mayor Pat Moeller during the event.
Smith said he plans during his speech to highlight author Jim Collins’ concept of “preserve the core and stimulate progress.”
Smith also will highlight the way Hamilton’s strength resides in its volunteers, partnerships, civic leaders and small businesses, he said.