Right away, Chris Groeschen strikes you as a guy who makes friends easily and keeps them. He likes finding out what people are interested in. One of his favorite concepts, one that often comes up in conversations about what matters to him, is community.
Chris grew up in a leafy subdivision off Old Taylor Mill Road. His parents, both accountants, sent him and his younger brother and sister to tiny St. Anthony School, where he was one of 17 kids to graduate from the eighth grade. Two of his classmates were in his wedding in November 2017. He sees six or seven of them regularly and had talked to most of the rest of them over the previous six months.
His dad was president of the St. Anthony boosters club, and his mom was PTO president and on the parish Finance Committee. They were both on the annual parish summer festival committee, where they were responsible for the Snack & Grill and Drink booths for nearly 10 years.
“You have to buy the sauerkraut and heat it, grill the brats, make the chili for the walking tacos, keep the coolers iced and stocked. It’s more involved than taking tickets at the beer booth. Anything that needed to be done at school, Mom and Dad did it. They set the example to get involved in our community early and often.”
His first best job ever was being a lifeguard at the Taylor Mill Swim Club. “A lot of families came every day. You become part of the community. I felt like I belonged.”
Chris got a full ride to the University of Louisville. At the honors dinner his first day on campus, he met the girl he would marry, Meg Ryan but not the one you’re thinking of. He and Meg are ardent Louisville Cardinal fans and football season ticket holders.
He stayed at U of L through law school. He had never known any lawyers, but he had a sense that lawyers play key roles in their communities. “I had this idea that lawyers are building blocks for communities. You can have a hand in everything. Lawyers help people start businesses, help resolve disputes, on and on.”
He tells a story about the kind of lawyer he aims to be. One of his college summer jobs was as a beer delivery guy, hauling kegs in and out of basements at bars throughout Northern Kentucky, often in buildings 150 years old and older.
“One of my deliveries was to a cruddy old liquor store in what was a not-so-great part of Covington at Fourth and Scott. It so happened that, a few years later, one of the first real estate projects I worked on as an attorney involved redoing that store into what today is the Boone Block lofts, a beautiful upscale condominium project where the units are going for $500,000 and up.
“I got to see a seedy part of town become something the community can be proud of. I wanted to get into commercial real estate because you get to see great ideas being built from the ground up and how those ideas transform the places where people live, work, and raise their families. What’s better than that?”
He’s excited about becoming part of the Graydon community.
“This place is amazing. You look at the office space, at the technology we have here and the marketing initiatives, like the Graydon on Main office. I wasn’t here three days when the managing partner sat down with me for an hour and a half to talk about the Firm’s strategic goals. That tells you a lot about what kind of community this is and the direction the Firm is heading in.”
Chris is a member of the firms’ Commercial Real Estate, Construction, and Business Services practice groups. He is licensed in both Ohio and Kentucky and focuses his practice on advising public and private companies on the purchase, sale, lease, construction and development of their properties and businesses. Recent projects include:
- Representation of municipality in expansion of 200+ acre industrial park, including all matters related to real estate acquisition, disposition, annexation, and development.
- Representation of one of the largest property owners in Southwestern Ohio in numerous multi-million dollar construction and real estate projects, working with custom, AIA, and DBIA project forms and various delivery methods.
- Representation of various Owners and Contractors in construction projects and litigation matters ranging in size from $100,000 to $50,000,000 for industrial, hotel, school, gym, restaurant, and office uses.
- Representation of Cincinnati-based commercial contractor in all manner of GC, Subcontractor, and PO agreements and general business counseling.
- Representation of national restaurant chains and franchisees in shopping center retail leasing transactions throughout the United States.
- Representation of Cincinnati-based manufacturer in the acquisition of target businesses to accelerate client growth.