The Offices at 444 West Third Street

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: January 2010
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444 West Third

Fast Facts

Address: Cincinnati, Ohio
Company/Developer: Al. Neyer, Inc.
Project Specs: Retrofit/Major Renovation
Project Type: Office
Square Feet: 150,000

Project History: The Offices at 444 West Third Street began as the Cincinnati Postal Terminal & Realty Co. Building in 1923. The building was designed by Harry Hake, an architect of regional renown, known for iconic buildings at University of Cincinnati and switching stations for Cincinnati Bell. Dayton Hydraulic purchased the property in 2000, and in 2007, formed an ownership partnership with Al. Neyer, Inc. to consider redevelopment. In 2008, DHC/ANI LLC was in talks with dunnhumbyUSA to lease the building for its 300+ employees as sole tenant. In November 2008, dunnhumby signed a lease, demolition began in December and construction in February 2009. DunnhumbyUSA moved into 444 W. Third Street in August 2009. Renovation encompassed 105,000 square feet of new office space for dunnhumbyUSA and 40,000 square feet of indoor parking.

Commitment to Sustainability

The vision of building resilient communities drives our initiatives. Al. Neyer is a 116-year-old commercial real estate development, design-build and investment company. We take a comprehensive approach to projects – at the very beginning we’ve integrated city and community; planning specialists; landscape designers; environmental specialists; and owners and tenants. This holistic approach that focuses on people and long-term value to community represents our commitment to a sustainable environment as well as to a sustainable economy. In addition to the LEED projects we’ve completed, our work in brownfield and urban infill projects in environmentally responsible development that creates long-lasting community benefits.

Green Features

Economic Analysis

  • The redevelopment of The Offices at 444 West Third Street is considered a triple bottom-line win – an economic development win for the City of Cincinnati, which is retaining more than 300 high-paying jobs downtown, with a corporate pledge for additional 150; for dunnhumbyUSA, a fast-growth company that wanted a hip, environmentally friendly urban campus with city-amenities that appeals to its base of knowledge workers; and to project investors, who realized significant return on investment.
  • Development partnership paid $3.5 million for the property. Initially, we were able to lease this building to dunnhumbyUSA for slightly-above market rates, comparable to Class A space in the market. dunnhumby decided to purchase the building and own it, and closed on the $17 million purchase August 10, 2009.
patio at 444 West Third building

Site Sustainability/Materials Use 

  • Early on in the design process, the project team identified incorporating sustainable building features as a high priority and worked together to make dunnhumbyUSA’s new space as green as possible. Materials were sourced locally, within 500 miles of the building site, wherever possible.
  • The replacement of all existing windows with new frames and new low-e glazing with a strong solar heat gain co-efficient is resulting in a more energy-efficient building.
  • Client dunnhumbyUSA and the development team recognized that the energy spent commuting to and from the office is an important component of an organization’s environmental impact, and, as a result, decided to stay downtown and renovate a building rather than move to a new site farther from the City center. dunnhumbyUSA cites the building location as a key component to keeping Vehicle Miles Traveled by automobile relatively low,  because cities are more location efficient.
  • The design team incorporated parking for scooters and bicycles to encourage people to reduce automobile and gas consumption. dunnhumbyUSA provides bicycles for employee usage downtown as well as bicycle storage and changing rooms to encourage  employees to use this non-polluting method of transportation.
  • The building’s location at Third and Central avenues on the western edge of Cincinnati is in walking distance to a variety of basic services as well as local bus lines.

Energy Efficiency

  • New rooftop units for the mechanical system have variable frequency drives enhancing their overall energy efficiency.
  • Occupancy sensors have been provided in all huddle rooms and conference rooms to add to the energy efficiency of the building’s lighting.
444 West Third office space

Water Efficiency

  • Hands-free plumbing and fixtures have been incorporated into the restroom facilities.


  • Building occupant has a unique culture that is global in nature, celebrates success, works collaboratively, prizes technological advantage and heralds a diverse workforce and is relentlessly passionate about its customers. All of these sensibilities were woven through the building and delivered through interior design.
  • To promote camaraderie and feeling of team, communicating stairs were cut through the first and second floor in two places to reduce reliance on elevators for vertical transportation.
  • Important to the relocation decision for dunnhumby was ability to provide onsite amenities within an urban environment. Development team, working in close alliance with the City of Cincinnati Economic Development division, were able to work through an innovation solution for employee parking – converting a City-owned lawn maintenance facility into parking. They also worked to incorporate green space in an outdoor terrace garden retreat area for employees – a unique offering for city workers.