For the first time in more than eight years, people will get to see the inside of the former Ohio Casualty building in Hamilton — and a mock-up of what the interior can look like in the future — when Hamilton’s city manager presents his State of the City address Sept. 20. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Thursday event to show off Ohio Casualty building’s future

FIRST REPORT: New hope for former Ohio Casualty buildings in Hamilton

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.

For the first time in more than eight years, people will get to see the inside of the former Ohio Casualty building in Hamilton — and a mock-up of what the interior can look like in the future — when Hamilton’s city manager presents his State of the City address in September. 
Photo: NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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.

FROM 2010: Ohio Casualty leaves behind a long history in Hamilton

“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.

Ohio Casualty was headquartered in Hamilton more than 70 years. 
Photo: NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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.

MORE: Hamilton’s funding plans for mega sports complex

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.

RELATED: Look up! Hamilton’s trendiest office real estate located on upper floors of older buildings

Everyone is invited to attend the State of the City event, which will cost $25 for chamber members and $30 for non-members. Registration can be made through the chamber’s website at www.hamilton-ohio.com. Reservations also can be made by calling 513-844-1500.

The now vacant six-story former Ohio Casualty headquarters has 428,000-square-feet of office space available, plus an adjacent building and separate building across the street, according to city records. 
Photo: NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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