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Atlanta developer building new riverfront apartment building downtown

Experts say the announcement of yet another downtown apartment building, SkyHouse is proof the city is becoming a hot place for millennials. (Novare)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Cincinnati is now a place where the cool kids want to live.

Experts say the announcement of yet another downtown apartment building, SkyHouse is proof the city is becoming a hot place for millennials.

SkyHouse, an Atlanta-based developer, is going to build a $94 million, 25-story, 350-apartment building near the riverfront at what is now a parking lot. And that's not all.

In 2017, nine downtown apartment buildings have either opened already, are finishing construction or are in various stages of development or planning. That's more than 1,700 units.

"They're targeting the young professional, the millennial renter and the empty nester. The empty nester is gravitating towards the high-end, luxury-style finishes. And some young professionals are looking at that as well. But many are looking at smaller spaces. That's why you see the new apartments with smaller square footage but more amenities," said Tom Demeropolis of The Business Courier.

Some of the developments are rehabs. Others will be new construction, like the one to come at Fourth and Race streets. And then there's SkyHouse.

"SkyHouse is betting on the future of Cincinnati, the future of downtown. So is Kroger. Kroger is a great corporate citizen and employer and wonderful friend of the city, but they've always said they wouldn't do a grocery store for charity. They're doing it to make money, and and they're betting on the future of downtown too," said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. "In addition to all the new apartments, there have also been several new hotels which have come in line in recent years, so the question becomes how much is enough? How much is too much? Is this a bubble and might that bubble burst?"

"Are we worried about that? Less so in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati we can continue to support new development. I know some are concerned about Columbus and some of the coastal cities. But I think in Cincinnati it's less of a concern at this stage," said Prof. Shaun Bond of the UC Real Estate Center.

SkyHouse is particularly symbolic. The Atlanta-based developer has built other SkyHouses in cities where millennials want to live. Cities with a vibe, like Austin, Charlotte and Nashville. Now, Cincinnati.

"The whole country is seeing that Cincinnati is the city of the future," said Cranley.

The Business Courier says rent for new downtown apartments averages about $2 per square-foot, which translates to around $1,200 to 1,300 a month for a small unit.

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