SouthShore Condominiums Transforming Newport Skyline

Story by Tom Hale | September 28, 2010

Rising high above the shoreline of the Ohio River is a new luxury condominium project in Newport, Ky. Called SouthShore, this Capital Investment Group Inc. development is being built on a 2.4-acre site along the south side of Riverboat Row just east of the Interstate 471 "Big Mac" bridge. SouthShore will transform the Newport skyline while offering spectacular views of Cincinnati.

The master plan for the SouthShore complex calls for the construction of more than 140 condominiums in two high-rise towers — each built atop four-story parking garages, along with a 100-slip marina in front of the project. Additionally, Capital Investment Group is considering other development opportunities for the western end of the SouthShore site.

At right: Designed by Pappageorge/Haymes, Ltd., the SouthShore complex will feature more than 140 condominiums in two high-rise towers – each built atop four-story parking garages, along with a 100-slip marina in front of the project. (Rendering courtesy Capital Investment Group)

Groundbreaking for phase one began in late February 2007. The first of the two condominium towers — a 21-story structure featuring 17 floors of condos — is scheduled for initial occupancy later this year. "We are anticipating being able to turn over units around September or October," says Brian Crecco, vice president of construction for Capital Investment Group. "And we are looking at having the building completely turned over by the end of the year."

Capital Investment Group has developed many urban and suburban sites in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., but SouthShore represents its first major construction project in Kentucky. The company envisions SouthShore as the tri-state's most luxurious and elegant resort-style, waterfront community.

"I think this will be the premier building on the riverfront," says Kathleen Bergen, a principal with Capital Investment Group. "We are going to change the character of the Cincinnati and Newport skyline."

ShoreShore project is rising high above the shoreline of the Ohio River.

Capital Investment Group officials emphasize the pedestrian-friendly nature of SouthShore, noting the immediate proximity of specialty stores and restaurants along Riverboat Row. SouthShore also is within walking distance of the Newport on the Levee entertainment complex.

Uncompromising Views

Chicago-based architectural firm Pappageorge/Haymes, Ltd. designed the 21-story condominium tower to "maximize views (of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati) while minimizing the impact of a second building on the views of the first building," says Adam Lavey, senior project architect with Pappageorge/Haymes.

"Pappageorge/Haymes did a very good job," says Crecco. "Every single master suite and living room offers a 180-degree view of the river and Cincinnati. Even from the easternmost units you can still see the city."

The entire front of the building and portions of the back of the building are composed completely with floor-to-ceiling glass. "We are using a curtain wall application slab to slab," Lavey says.

Pappageorge/Haymes heads a design/engineering team that includes Stephen Schaefer Associates Inc., Cincinnati — structural engineer; HAL-PE Associates Engineering Services, Covington, Ky. — MEP engineer; Kleingers & Associates Inc., West Chester, Ohio — civil engineer; and Bentley Koepke Inc., Cincinnati — landscape architect.

Looking south from Cincinnati at SouthShore condominium project.

Stephen Schaefer Associates provided the structural design for the new tower, which is founded on 441 auger cast piles driven 60 feet to 70 feet deep. According to the company, the condos are being built with reinforced concrete using flat plate floors. The condos sit atop a garage built with a two-way, post-tensioned flat system. The structure is supported by reinforced concrete columns and walls.

Inside SouthShore

Bovis Lend Lease Inc.'s Columbus, Ohio, office is managing construction of the new Newport high-rise, which has approximately 300,000 square feet of space — a 129,000-square-foot public/private, four-level parking garage with 350 spaces, and about 170,000 square feet of residential space for 66 condominiums.

"The building was originally designed for 70 units, but since then we have combined units for buyers," says Crecco. "So, now we have 66 units in the building. Our typical residences are located on floors 5 through 16, with five units per floor. The typical floors range from 1,153 square feet for the smallest one-bedroom unit to 2,250 square feet for the largest two-bedroom residence. The penthouse residences begin on the 17th floor, and they start at 2,400 square feet and go up. The largest unit is one that we combined on the 19th floor — it has about 7,200 square feet."

SouthShore condominiums feature many amenities, including a swimming pool and hot tub on the fifth level that will overlook the river. "On the first floor, we will have 24/7 concierge service, library space with a coffee bar, a very large bike storage area, and a conference room for buyers who don't want to have meetings up in their units," says Crecco. "On the fifth floor, there will be a 1,800-square-foot fitness center and a 3,000-square-foot community room with a large sundeck on top. In the community room, there will be a bar area, cooking area, tables, fireplaces, and big screen TVs."

Interiors will be spacious and richly detailed. Partners Nancy Paul and Julie Bell and Vittetoe Interior Design principal Henry Vittetoe are providing interior design for the first phase. McSwain Carpet's & Floors is handling all flooring elements, and Nisbet Brower is doing millwork and carpentry.

Construction Moving Upward

Phase one construction at SouthShore is moving steadily upward. A workforce of approximately 150 is on site, working basically six days a week, says Bovis Lend Lease Project Manager Keith McDougal. They are using two tower cranes and a variety of other equipment to move materials.

McDougal says the project has gone smoothly. He notes that one of the early construction challenges concerned foundation work, which was complicated by the fact that the project site is located in a floodway and backs up to a floodwall. To place some of the foundations, "we drilled (41) 24-inch holes through the concrete floodwall footer," McDougal says.

To meet the needs of its new residents, a new opening is being made in the floodwall to improve access to Ky. 8. "We are cutting a new hole in the floodwall to provide better access for our residents as they drive to SouthShore," says Crecco. "So, they will ramp up directly to the second level, which is above the 500-year floodplain. And we are installing a secondary floodwall."

The tiered flood gate system will take the development's buildings and parking out of the floodplain and allow for continuous access even in the unfortunate event of a major flood.

During a late February jobsite visit by Construction Digest — one year after ground was broken for the new condominium tower, a Baker Concrete Construction Inc. crew placed approximately 250 cubic yards of concrete supplied by Hilltop Concrete on the 20th floor. The new tower is being built with approximately 17,500 cubic yards of concrete, McDougal says.

He points out that "typical framing is used for the floors, but the fifth floor is unique in that in areas we have 40-plus-inch concrete slabs."

Lavey, who has 23 years of architectural and construction experience, adds, "There are four different slab depths to handle the transfers through that mat on the fifth floor. So, a pretty extensive engineering feat was required to handle the transfers this way rather than using a matrix of transfer beams and girders in the concrete."

Baker Concrete Construction, Monroe, Ohio, is the structural concrete subcontractor. Other project participants are cHc Fabricating, steel stairs, misc. metals; Dalmation Fire, fire protection; Denier Electric; Feldkamp Enterprises, plumbing and HVAC; Geiger Construction, aluminum windows and glazing; HICON Inc., masonry; High Concrete, architectural precast concrete (around garage); Kelley Bros. Roofing; Norwood Hardwood, frames and doors; H.C. Nutting, QC testing; Shehan Pools; RAM, waterproofing and traffic coat; Thompson Bros. Drywall; ThyssenKrupp Elevator; and United Hoist.

Second Tower Planned

SouthShore's second phase — a second condominium tower — designed for 24 stories with at least 75 condominiums — is planned just west of the first tower. However, it won't commence until a substantial percentage of the first tower is sold.

"We won't start pre-sales for the second tower until we meet our sales goal of about 75 percent for the first tower," says Crecco. "Then, we have to hit a goal of about 35 to 40 percent pre-sales in the second tower. Right now, we have achieved about 60 percent in sales for the first building, so we are doing relatively well considering everything (the weakening economy and the softening of the residential market)."

Other development possibilities for the site include an office building or hotel. "Those plans are still in development," Crecco says.

The Major Players

Capital Investment Group was established in 1984. The firm, with corporate headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md., and a regional office in Cincinnati, has extensive development experience — ranging from deluxe condominiums in Washington, D.C.'s embassy neighborhood to suburban Cincinnati apartment communities. Alexander Bastos, a principal with the company, and Gregg Fusaro, regional development partner, are playing key roles in the development of the SouthShore complex.

Pappageorge/Haymes Ltd., a design-oriented architectural firm with a commitment to innovative, quality environments, has received more than 50 major awards in its 25-year history. With a diverse history of project types, the Chicago-based firm concentrates its efforts on complex, urban, residential, and mixed-use neighborhoods. Its projects include Chicago's Museum Park neighborhood and The Mansions of Prairie Avenue. SouthShore marks the firm's first project in Kentucky. David Haymes is principal in charge of Pappageorge/Haymes, Jeff Renterghem is senior associate and Todd Depukat is project architect.

Bovis Lend Lease is one of the world's leading project management and construction companies. The company has a presence in over 40 countries, spearheaded by regional hubs in the UK, Australia and the U.S. Key sectors include commercial, retail, residential, communications, industrial, and pharmaceutical. Bovis Lend Lease Ohio, based in Columbus, is overseeing the SouthShore project. George Keppler is principal in charge of the Columbus office, and David Nief is senior project manager. Other members of Bovis Lend Lease's on-site team are Senior Superintendent Don Bencsik and Lisa LeMar, administrative assistant.