CDK Global Appears Poised To Bring 1,000 Tech Jobs to Norwood

On Monday it was announced that CDK Global, an integrated technology and market services provider, would relocate 1,000 jobs to the Cincinnati region. At the time of the announcement, however, a specific site was not identified.

Given the company’s focus, UrbanCincy suggested a site somewhere in the center city would make sense for CDK and their employees. Since that time we have learned that the company will most likely move into the large Central Parke office complex in Norwood.

Located at Montgomery Road and Sherman Avenue, the site is in the heart of Norwood and is just down the street from Paycor’s new headquarters in Linden Pointe. Cassidy Turley lists Central Parke as having a block of 95,000 square feet of office space available following the relocation of Cincinnati Bell’s operations to downtown Cincinnati over the past year-and-a-half.

REDI Cincinnati, the region’s job attraction and retention organization, would not confirm the location, but sources close to UrbanCincy say that a deal is in fact close to being finalized. Representatives at CDK Global also would not confirm the information, but did say that they expect to close on a deal by Monday.

If true, it would follow a trend of major employers increasingly choosing in-town locations rather than suburban alternatives that long defined economic moves over the past several decades. It would also be a major win for Norwood which has struggled to maintain its tax revenues as company after company has left the aging industrial city for other locations.

With annual payroll estimated to be around $45 million, the City of Norwood would receive approximately $900,000 annually in new tax revenues from their 2% earnings tax. This is not accounting for any types of tax breaks that may have been offered by the City of Norwood in addition to those given by the State of Ohio.

The Central Parke complex was developed on the former General Motors production plant that was shuttered, along with its 4,000 jobs, in 1987. Since that time, the City of Norwood has struggled economically and been dealt several setbacks in its efforts to diversify its tax base. Such struggles have meant credit rating hits and caused the city to drastically cut its budget and reduce public services over the years.

While landing CDK would help in the short-term, the future continues to look problematic for Norwood with fewer and fewer resources coming from the statehouse in Columbus. As a result, it may still make sense for a municipal merger with the City of Cincinnati in the future, which is both more economically powerful and stable.

The former office space occupied by Cincinnati Bell is reportedly in good condition and will require minimal upgrades in order to accommodate CDK’s staff. Its location is accessible by two Metro bus routes – the #4 and #51 – and has a Walk Score of 85.

  • Neil Clingerman

    Don’t forget the Metro Plus route (its stop is only 4 mins away) and literally would be a half hour from downtown.

  • Jesse

    Sometimes I wonder how much time corporate relocation people spend walking around the sites they are considering. Norwood looks like a good “in-town” option on paper but does Montgomery and Sherman really offer that great of an environment in practice? The area has a good walkability score but when people think “walkable” are they picturing walking down an ugly stretch of five lane
    road to get to White Caste or Frisch’s?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad CDK is looking at urban areas, which Norwood certainly is. I’m just saying if I was a CDK employee I would be less than enthusiastic about that location.

    And thinking beyond the current look and feel of the location, how much faith do people have in the city of Norwood to use the increased tax revenue to make that area more pleasant? Their development plan seems to be solidly focused on giant roads and parking lots. Just look at Rookwood, the crown jewel of Norwood retail development. Has anyone tried to shop there without a car? I live within easy walking distance of Rookwood and frequently stop by Whole Foods. I attempted to make that trip on foot exactly once. Not a positive experience.

    At least CDK employees will have several great choices for neighborhoods to live in that are close to work.

    • Brian Boland

      Norwood is turning itself into a highway interchange suburb. They are not giving any thought to pedestrian friendly development. Walkability there is a non-existant. Surrey square is just a big strip center. The development north of the lateral where Paycor and others relocated are nothing but suburban office plexes. The workers in these new places will drive in from the outer burbs, work, and then leave. They could have reshaped this area into a pedestrian friendly city, but they didn’t. And what a horrible jumble of disconnected streets and vacant space the old GM plant land was turned into.

    • Neil Clingerman

      I agree, but it shouldn’t be too hard to retrofit a few years down the road when Cincinnati catches up a bit more with national trends…

    • Brian Boland

      I hope so. The stuff they did up by Xavier is much better. Maybe if a streetcar line ran up Montgomery through here again…

    • SC

      Agreed, which is sad because they could be catching the same wave that Cinci is (well, save for that abomination that is Oakley Station.)

      I feel like they are the Cinci of yesterday that tried to make bigger roads so people could get in and out quicker. They never thought that the real strength of the city is in what it was designed to be (walkable, close to your work, etc.)

    • mary

      What are the great areas? I will be moving from Myrtle beach in Dec 2016 since I have been with the company for 20 years. I would really like to know what areas you think are the best. My children are grown and are staying here. I would like to be able to drive home at lunch to let my dog out. Also biking to work would be great if practical.

    • Jesse

      Hi Mary,

      Hyde Park and Oakley are both nice. They are just east of Norwood. Very short trip by car. They are expensive as far as Cincinnati neighborhoods go but the cost of living here is low so they are a bargain compared to the upscale neighborhoods in other cities. Hyde Park is more established and some people think it’s kind of stuffy. Oakley seems to have more energy. They are both very nice though.

      There is a plan to convert an old rail line that goes through both neighborhoods to a bike trail. If that works out it will be a great area for cycling.

      There are also some good areas around Xavier university just south of Norwood. Lots of college kids there of course. That area is near the neighborhoods of Evanston and Avondale which have higher crime rates than the other places I mentioned.

      Some parts of Norwood itself are good. Lots of big old houses there that you can get much cheaper than in neighboring areas. The city government is kind of flakey and it does not have the best reputation but overall norwood is safe and nice enough. They don’t have much of a business district though. Mostly run down old shops and fast food restaurants. Floral avenue in Norwood looked very pleasant the last time I was over there.

      That’s what I was thinking for areas that touch Norwood. Going a little farther you might want to look at Clifton, east walnut hills or even the downtown/OTR area. All of that is within 6 or 7 miles of Norwood.

      The problem with the location of that office building is that it is where one of the busiest and biggest roads through town crosses a freeway. It’s always tricky to walk or bike through places like that. It may be possible though. I rarely go over there so I’ve just seen it on google map.

      Hope that helps!

    • ED

      See the CityBeat neighborhoods guide

    • charles ross

      Norwood is kind of smack dab in the middle of everything. You are within 10 minutes of many decent neighborhoods, and some scruffy ones. If you like old houses, Norwood itself has some pretty nice ones too. Plus I think the Xavier University Dana Ave expansion zone might include some condos.

  • charles ross

    Let’s not forget the Mercy Health HQ going up in the Showcase lot right along Ross/Tennessee Ave in Bond Hill at the Norwood border. Very big and only a couple of blocks off Montgomery Road. And also the Xavier perimeter growth at Dana/Montgomery. There’s a lot going on around there.

    • ED

      I feel sorry for people that used to work near downtown, OTR and eden park who now have to work in Bond Hill. Honestly, what is this going to do for that neighborhood other than create more traffic and the city’s version of Norwood.

  • Drasek

    Unfortunately, 100s of people, from all over the US, are losing their jobs because they are unable to relocate to Cincinnati. For the people who are able to relocate, they have to reapply for their own jobs but there is no guarantee. CDK has shattered morale here in the office.