Key Tower adds new tenant on anniversary

Key Tower is downtown Cleveland's tallest building.

Key Tower, the tallest building in the USA between Chicago and the East Coast, just gained a major new tenant on the fifth anniversary of Millennia Group’s ownership of the 947-foot-tall skyscraper in downtown Cleveland (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Millennia Group may also add 52nd-floor restaurant

The Millennia Companies is pleased to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Key Center ownership by planning tenant activities, adding amenities and announcing a new major tenant. Signed was Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan and Aronoff LLP, one of Cleveland’s largest law firms, that will occupy 164,000 square feet in Key Tower, said Millennia in a written statement released today.

Last September, NEOtrans was first to report that Benesch was looking to relocate to Key Tower after years of waiting for Cleveland-based Stark Enterprises to pull together the private and public financial resources for a transformational mixed-use development called nuCLEus in the Gateway District.

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Since last fall however, Benesch reportedly brokered negotiations between Stark and Bedrock Real Estate of Detroit for the sale of Stark-owned land on which nuCLEus was to be built. Bedrock reportedly wanted to bring Benesch into a new development it seeks to build in the Gateway District. The Bedrock development remains active yet still dynamic, sources said.

Benesch is relocating from 200 Public Square where it occupied 120,000 square feet of space. Owing to the loss of tenants like Benesch and AML Rightsource, plus Morgan Stanley and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP giving back space to the landlord due to reduced in-office staffing needs wrought by the pandemic and remote working. In response, owners of the 45-story 200 Public Square are making significant improvements to their property.

In January 2017, Millennia acquired Ohio’s tallest building, Key Tower — home of KeyBank’s corporate headquarters — along with the adjoining the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, and underground parking lot, in a $267.5 million deal that returned Key Center to local ownership.

Promptly after the acquisition, Millennia completed more than $30 million in upgrades to the common areas and plaza, creating lively spaces for tenants and guests of the 1.3-million-square-foot office complex and 400-room hotel. As a result of thoughtful design and planning, the renovations, which took place in 2017 and 2018, created connectivity between office tower and hotel spaces with tenants and guests moving freely through both spaces to access and enjoy the newly created amenities.

Key Tower is a really big building.

Looking up at Key Tower’s 57 stories from Public Square (KJP).

Creative improvements transformed Key Center into a destination complete with new eateries and curated art throughout the 57-floor skyscraper and hotel. To the culinary options, Millennia added Marble Room Sushi, Il Venetian, and, most recently, Savour Coffee and Creations.

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There are also preliminary plans to open a fine-dining restaurant on Key Tower’s 52nd floor, said Millennia’s CEO Frank Sinito.

“It has been an exciting five years of bringing this iconic skyscraper and development to life,” Sinito said in the written statement. “I am proud of our team for making Key Tower the premier office skyscraper between Chicago and New York and for providing an unrivaled best-in-class customer experience for tenants and visitors alike.”

In response to feedback from executive leaders at firms throughout Key Tower, Millennia added ample seating areas throughout the lobby, and there are plans to add even more; employees use these areas to work independently or collaborate outside the traditional office environment.

With energized spaces, on any given day, one may encounter live music in the lobby, people gathering to watch sporting events, fall festivals, pop-up shops, and even blood drives to support the American Red Cross. This past holiday season, carolers and exquisite décor added to the festivities.

“Often while heading into the office, long-time tenants of Key Tower stop to share with me how much they appreciate the atmosphere we created and the options available to them,” says Sinito. “They especially enjoy the new Savour Coffee and Creations, where our friendly baristas serve Lavazza Coffee and fresh menu items made daily by Alberto Leandri, Executive Chef of Il Venetian.”

Sinito’s experience in the hospitality sector and laser-like focus on the customer experience sets Key Center apart. The overhaul of the outdoor plaza has created a soft and welcoming environment with seating areas. Millennia transformed the once-bland pavement into a pathway lined with attractive flower beds, adding another area for tenants and visitors to congregate and socialize. The redesign includes substantial landscaping, better sight lines between public spaces and an outdoor pavilion that is accessible from both the plaza and hotel lobby. The pavilion is outfitted with free Wi-Fi, and it is fully serviced by the Marriott Greatroom and Bar.

Key Tower stands out in downtown Cleveland's skyline.

From just about any direction, Key Tower dominates the downtown Cleveland skyline. That’s certainly true from Edgewater Park and Lake Erie vantage points (KJP).

The Marriott Greatroom and Bar is located inside what was once an uninspired lobby. After extensive renovations, the lobby area is now an open and inviting gathering space for office workers, downtown residents, and visitors to eat, drink or relax. For Marriott Elite Rewards members, the M-Club is an exclusive lounge that provides the perfect space for socialization and business meetings. For those looking for a convenient snack or drink, the Public Square Pantry offers casual bites for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Additionally, Armando’s, a high-end, full-service barbershop, adds to the hip, modern atmosphere.

A new fitness center on the building’s third floor replaced the Club at Key Center’s former athletic facilities. Millennia assumed ownership of the center, which is now known as Ascend Fitness and Spa, and renovated the 20,000 square-foot space into an upscale fitness facility, spa, and wellness center. Ascend is the pinnacle of wellness in downtown Cleveland, with convenient, well-priced, comprehensive health and fitness solutions and a vibrant community of members. Compelling classes and programs, skilled trainers and coaches, a full-service spa (opening soon), and state-of-the-art fitness facilities make Ascend Fitness and Spa a one-stop-shop for wellness and connection.

Moving up to the fourth floor of the hotel, the banquet facility that was also once part of the Club at Key Center is now known as the St. Clair Ballroom, a distinctive and elegant location for weddings, corporate events, elaborate reunions, and celebratory occasions of all kinds. The hotel meeting and banquet rooms, also renovated in 2017 and 2018, have been well-received; they consist of 15 cutting-edge event spaces, which total 17,918 square feet – the Grand Ballroom seats 450. Expert culinary and event teams are on-hand to enhance events with their attention to detail.

Recently, Millennia franchised and repositioned the Marriott at Key Tower to allow for more entrepreneurial decision-making as it relates to its operations; plans are in place for each hotel room to undergo a full renovation with new bathrooms and common areas.

While Millennia has activated and upgraded Key Center, there is more to come – added amenities, including a sports bar, are under consideration. Millennia continues to bring fresh and innovative ideas that enable existing and new tenants, such as Benesch, to attract and retain top talent.

“Every day we seek to build community, reignite spaces, and deliver excellence to those we serve while bettering our city and region,” said Sinito in looking forward to another five years of ownership and beyond.

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