Solar roof coming to huge Over-the-Rhine office building

The developer of the former Strietmann Biscuit Co. Building in Over-the-Rhine is installing a solar roof.

Grandin Properties, the Over-the-Rhine-based real estate company that focuses on development in walkable, urban areas, is investing more than $600,000 to install rooftop solar panels, a new roof and structural improvements. The solar roof will provide enough power to supply most of the needs of the building’s core and shell.

The system is expected to produce about 61,000 kWh per year, or about the same amount of energy needed to power five single-family homes for a year. Strietmann Biscuit Building is located at 221 W. 12th St.

Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld said he hopes other developers follow Grandin Properties’ lead.

“The Strietmann Building project is another big step forward when it comes to powering Cincinnati through sustainable development,” Sittenfeld said.

Peg Wyant, CEO of Grandin Properties, said she is working with the city of Cincinnati to provide some additional financing for the solar panel system.

HGC Construction and Sun Rock Solar LLC will install the rooftop solar array covering more than 50 percent of the roof deck area. The system will consist of 144 solar panels and the power will be used to offset the building owner’s electricity needs for lighting, heating and air conditioning as well as other common area electrical needs.

The solar roof is an addition to a project that is already aiming to be sustainable. The building is pursuing LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the core and shell.

Plus, the project is redeveloping a building that was originally constructed in 1899.

“Bringing a historic building back to life is considered by many to be the ultimate recycling project,” Wyant said.

Old building is ready for new life

Old building is ready for new life

CINCINNATI -- After more than 15 months and roughly $16 million, an old cracker bakery on West 12th Street is ready to start its new life as The Strietmann Center .

The seven-story property encompasses 88,000 square feet of leasable space and nearly a full city block of historic Over-the-Rhine.

Grandin Properties , the project’s developer, expects to market most of that to office tenants. But there will be space on the ground floor for restaurant and retail operations, too, said Kathy Meier, Grandin Properties’ project manager for The Strietmann Center.

“A lot of people don’t realize that doing old buildings is harder than doing new buildings,” said Denis Back of Denis L. Back & Associates, the architect for the project. “We took it down to a shell.”

WCPO and 9 On Your Side began reporting on the restoration project in January 2017 to give the public a better idea of what it takes to bring a historic property back to life.

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The hulking structure has come a long way over the past year, and Meier said Grandin hopes to see its first businesses move in during the coming months.

The Strietmann has a new roof, new heating, cooling, plumbing, electric and sprinkler systems along with new elevators and solar panels. The restoration is in keeping with national historic guidelines, Back added. It will be LEED certified at least at the silver level and could possibly qualify for LEED gold certification because of its environmentally friendly systems and the careful way it was renovated, Meier said.