A Checklist for Transplanting Your Company

It's finally happened: You've made the decision to transplant your headquarters to Greater Cincinnati or expand here. Now what?

While there are many variables to consider when moving a business, there are a few basic factors that are vital to remember. Keep in mind the following checklist to help assure your company relocation is a success:

1. Have a plan.

>> Identify key people and equipment necessary to ensure a successful move.

>> Appoint someone in your company as the relocation coordinator, giving this person the responsibility to delegate tasks, approve plans, and communicate initiatives to all departments of your business.

>> Time is money. Set up a timetable and stick to it to make the move as efficient as possible.

>> Be sure to inform customers and suppliers of the planned relocation well in advance, communicating to each how the move will affect them.

2. Do a full cost calculation.

>> Figure out how much capital will be needed to support the move.

>> Account for a loss in revenue if portions of the company's customer base will be lost as a result of the relocation.

>> Don't forget to add an additional cost factor for any unforeseen costs related to the move.

3. Find the type of office space that will fit your needs.

>> Ask commercial real estate brokers or business brokers for help in locating the right building.

>> Have your lawyer review any lease agreements.

>> When remodeling, be sure all the correct permits have been acquired.

4. Make sure the new facility meets current needs as well as projected future needs.

>> Assess the future growth of your company. While it's fine to be optimistic, unrealistic expectations will lead to elevated costs and unused space.

5. Move only when the new location is fully functional.

>> Be sure phone lines, fax lines, Internet connections, etc. are installed and working correctly before moving in.

>> Do not attempt to do business without these basic tools, since productivity will suffer.

6. Decide how many employees to retain from your current city and how many new employees to recruit in Greater Cincinnati.

>> Lease a temporary Cincinnati office in advance for recruitment of talent. Provide incentives for valuable current employees resistant to the relocation.

7. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

>> A carefully calculated move can limit the number of surprises.

>> Calmly tackle any obstacles that come up.

>> Realize that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. "” Christine Williams

Imagine the lobby of a Donald Trump tower. Picture the offices of Bill Gates and his top associates. Or think of the high-rise where Greater Cincinnati's richest executive, Carl Lindner, gets the job done.

What do all of these spaces have in common? Money and luxury, yes. Comfort and style, also a yes. But let's get technical "” the theme shared between all of these locations is that they are defined as a Class A space in the commercial real estate world.

Because not everyone casually throws around the term "Class A" when they're talking about buying or leasing office space, here is the definition in layman's terms: In a process combining both location and physical characteristics, a building is classified as Class A when it has excellent location and access, high quality, new construction, and tenants who are willing to pay the price for the best place around.

Class A is not always Class A wherever you go, however. "Each individual property owner, manager, or even leasing person could have different viewpoints on what is Class A or Class B and define them differently," says Stephanie Geiser, executive director of the Cincinnati office of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).

BOMA's definition for Class B is as follows: "Buildings competing for a wide range of users, with rents in the average range for the area. Building finishes are fair to good for the area, and the systems are adequate but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price." In other words, Class B is still a great option for companies looking to rent or buy office space, but if you want the fancy-schmancy stuff, then you need to look higher up.

The class system goes even deeper, to Classes C and D. These buildings are older and usually not in prime locations, without the up-to-date amenities and technology. Renovations can improve a building to a higher class, and the facility may even at some point look better than most Class A buildings, but it probably will never become an actual A.

There are many high-rises in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky that are Class A, all defined by many standards (see the list on this page). Wood paneling, marble floors, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows are just some of the standard features in these high-class buildings. It takes big bucks to land one of these spaces, but if you're looking for the fountains, granite statues, and to-the-second technology, then Class A is the place to be.

This Region's Office High-Rises Will Floor You

Looking for a huge amount of Class A office space? Here's a sampling of the largest Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky office buildings that have available space. While definitions of Class A space vary, most of the following buildings fall into the Class A formula while a few could "” depending on your definition "” edge into Class B (contact a commercial Realtor for details on a specific high-rise):

309 Vine:
7 floors
309 Vine St.

312 Elm:
26 fls.
312 Elm St.

525 Vine:
23 fls.
525 Vine St.

580 Building:
14 fls.
580 Walnut St.

800 Broadway:
16 fls.
800 Broadway

Atrium I:
20 fls.
201 E. Fourth St.

Atrium II:
30 fls.
221 E. Fourth St.

Carew Tower:
49 fls.
441 Vine St.

Chemed Center:
32 fls.
255 E. Fifth St.

Chiquita Center:
29 fls.
250 E. Fifth St.

Cincinnati Bell:
11 fls.
209 W. Seventh St.

Convergys Center:
29 fls.
600 Vine St.

Dixie Terminal Building:
10 fls.
49 E. Fourth St.

Federated Building:
21 fls.
7 W. Seventh St.

Fifth Third Center:
32 fls.
511 Walnut St.

Fourth & Vine Tower:
28 fls.
1 W. Fourth St.

Kroger Building:
25 fls.
1014 Vine St.

PNC Center:
27 fls.
201 E. Fifth St.

River Center:
19 fls.
100 E. River Center Blvd.

Covington

R.L. Polk Building:
10 fls.
400 Pike St.

Scripps Center:
36 fls.
312 Walnut St.

U.S. Bank Tower:
26 fls.
425 Walnut St.

"” Remy Swain