Cleveland, OH

nuCLEus may lose its largest pledged tenant to Key Tower

The most recent proposed version of One nuCLEus Place, a 24-story office tower with parking and retail planned in downtown ClevelandStark

This is the most recent proposed version of One nuCLEus Place, a 24-story office tower atop a podium of parking and retail planned in downtown Cleveland. This proposal spurred the creation of a new state program to support the development of large, complicated projects that could positively transform their communities. But the largest announced tenant for nuCLEus appears to be courting a new landlord and could further frustrate long-standing efforts to develop this project.

One the eve of submitting applications for a new state tax-credit program to aid transformational real estate projects, the project that instigated the program is facing a major stumbling block. However, NuCLEus, announced seven years ago, is still alive but in what form isn’t publicly known.

One of Cleveland’s largest law firms, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, is reportedly considering moving its offices and hundreds of employees to Cleveland’s tallest and most prestigious skyscraper — Key Tower, 127 Public Square.

That’s according three independent sources with direct knowledge of the relocation, but who were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Benesch currently occupies multiple floors at the 45-story 200 Public Square with the main entrance to their offices on the 23rd floor. Benesch’s lease at 200 Public Square runs out in the summer of 2022. The firm hadn’t extended its lease as of August 2020.

Jeanne​ Hammerstrom, chief marketing officer at Benesch, was contacted for confirmation of the reports and for additional details.

Sorry, we don’t have anything to say as we have no decisions at this time, Hammerstrom said in an e-mail to NEOtrans this afternoon.

The Millennia Companies’ Marketing and Communications Manager Valerie Jerome was also asked to confirm or deny the reports of Benesch moving to Key. Key Tower is owned by The Millennia Companies.

I cannot confirm the accuracy of this information, she said in an e-mail to NEOtrans.

Stark Enterprises’ President and CEO Robert Stark acknowledged receiving an e-mail seeking clarification and comment but otherwise did not respond prior to publication of this article.

Key Tower is Cleveland’s tallest and most expensive office building at about $32 per square foot. It is also 90 percent leased, according to real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. It might also be the new home of one of Cleveland’s largest law firms.


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