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Chip R
04-23-2007, 03:33 PM
Well, I don't know about you folks but I'm convinced. :rolleyes:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/wlwt/20070423/lo_wlwt/12908181


Banks Project To Be Open By End Of 2009

It's been one of the most talked-about and debated pieces of property in Cincinnati -- the area along the Ohio River known as the Banks.

Now, people are getting the first look at what is expected to go into that space by the end of the decade.

News 5?s John London said the Banks Working Committee is showing off artist renderings of a high-density housing, office and entertainment development. It will start close to Great American Ball Park and move west toward Paul Brown Stadium in the later phases. But initially, London said, expect restaurants, cafes, offices and condos from the east side of the 16-acre area up to Second Street and to the south of the Freedom Center.

AIG Carter hopes to break ground this fall, start construction before the end of the year and have the first residential units open by the time the ball drops to mark the start of 2010.

Still undetermined: how the funding for the project will come together. London said that he's been told that it's still up in the air, but that it's hoped that funding will be finalized in the next three weeks.

Stay tuned to News 5 and WLWT.com for the latest information later today.

paintmered
04-23-2007, 03:46 PM
Well, I don't know about you folks but I'm convinced. :rolleyes:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/wlwt/20070423/lo_wlwt/12908181


Banks Project To Be Open By End Of 2019

It's been one of the most talked-about and debated pieces of property in Cincinnati -- the area along the Ohio River known as the Banks.

Now, people are getting the first look at what is expected to go into that space by the end of the decade.

News 5?s John London said the Banks Working Committee is showing off artist renderings of a high-density housing, office and entertainment development. It will start close to Great American Ball Park and move west toward Paul Brown Stadium in the later phases. But initially, London said, expect restaurants, cafes, offices and condos from the east side of the 16-acre area up to Second Street and to the south of the Freedom Center.

AIG Carter hopes to break ground this fall, start construction before the end of the year and have the first residential units open by the time the ball drops to mark the start of 2010.

Still undetermined: how the funding for the project will come together. London said that he's been told that it's still up in the air, but that it's hoped that funding will be finalized in the next three weeks.

Stay tuned to News 5 and WLWT.com for the latest information later today.

I fixed the title for you. ;)

It will be neat to see the latest round of renderings and dream about having a place to go before and after ballgames.

WMR
04-23-2007, 03:59 PM
Did I ever tell you about the time I caught that 250 pound catfish out of the Ohio River? And it glowed green in the dark for some reason. Man that was great. :laugh:

KronoRed
04-23-2007, 04:07 PM
Sureeee it will be.

Chip R
04-23-2007, 04:10 PM
Did I ever tell you about the time I caught that 250 pound catfish out of the Ohio River? And it glowed green in the dark for some reason. Man that was great. :laugh:


Did he look like this?

RBA
04-23-2007, 04:31 PM
http://www.wlwt.com/slideshow/news/12911729/detail.html?qs=;s=1;p=/news/;dm=ss;w=400

Redsland
04-23-2007, 04:32 PM
Still undetermined: how the funding for the project will come together.
That's all?

…the Banks Working Committee is showing off artist renderings of a high-density housing, office and entertainment development.
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/jkl/kidscontest/Owsley/Kindergarten/Highland_Turner_Elementary/Stormy_Day.jpg

Drawings. No money. And to think I was skeptical.

rotnoid
04-23-2007, 04:37 PM
http://www.wlwt.com/slideshow/news/12911729/detail.html?qs=;s=1;p=/news/;dm=ss;w=400

Too bad they spent all their money on those drawings.

paintmered
04-23-2007, 04:52 PM
http://www.wlwt.com/slideshow/news/12911729/detail.html?qs=;s=1;p=/news/;dm=ss;w=400

Maybe a half of those renderings are actually "new".

Caveat Emperor
04-23-2007, 05:19 PM
I still think the fitting end for the Banks project would be for the county to pick it as the spot for the new jail.

WMR
04-23-2007, 05:21 PM
I still think the fitting end for the Banks project would be for the county to pick it as the spot for the new jail.

Close to Paul Brown Stadium: GOOD IDEA!!

KronoRed
04-23-2007, 05:23 PM
I still think the fitting end for the Banks project would be for the county to pick it as the spot for the new jail.

:laugh:

remdog
04-23-2007, 05:24 PM
I've followed The Banks project with interest because I've considered retiring to Cincinnati with it's lower cost of housing. The timing of this couldn't be better since it should coincide with my retirement date----right about the time I finish my second 30 year career as an astrophysicist. :p:

Rem

WMR
04-23-2007, 05:25 PM
I've followed The Banks project with interest because I've considered retiring to Cincinnati with it's lower cost of housing. The timing of this couldn't be better since it should coincide with my retirement date----right about the time I finish my second 30 year career as an astrophysicist. :p:

Rem

Just be prepared Rem... a Californa 7 is a Cincinnati 9.5

remdog
04-23-2007, 05:37 PM
Just be prepared Rem... a Californa 7 is a Cincinnati 9.5

We talkin' earthquakes or (ahem) babes? Thirty years from now a 9.5 might be my pulse rate. :laugh:

Rem

WMR
04-23-2007, 05:40 PM
We talkin' earthquakes or (ahem) babes? Thirty years from now a 9.5 might be my pulse rate. :laugh:

Rem

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

vaticanplum
04-23-2007, 07:18 PM
I was at the unveiling today (though bear in mind I'm hardly a reporter so what I'm saying is just my memory and probably some interpretation). The plans look good and the questions people asked were generally answered pretty thoroughly.

I don't expect them to deviate too far from this plan. The first phase will be the one built up by GABP -- residences and shopping (maybe some office space, I can't remember) in buildings 5-20 stories. The buildings progress in height as they get further from the river. Ultimately the buildings will then be built over to Paul Brown. Both Freedom Way and Theodore Berry Drive will be extended and will serve as the main thoroughfares through the project and those will be largely shopping and restaurants (there will be two large nice restaurants in their own buildings, but they hope to add many smaller ones as time goes on). The buildings will be on platforms to allow for flooding, graduated as they get closer to the river, and much of the area parking will be below and just above these platforms (the platforms are not visible from the outside).

It's amazing to see the drawings, to see how much they can squeeze into that little space without the buildings being hideously tall. I'm impressed with that, and with their commitment to reserve 7.5% of the space for minorities and small businesses. The general style of the area and the buildings is still unclear. They showed some photographs and drawings of a development they did in Atlanta that they're using as a model "flagship" and I wasn't really impressed with the design. They mentioned some concepts such as buildings closer to the river being of a steel structure to imitate the bridges and buildings closer to the streets being echoing Cincinnati's masonry-based history, but between the renderings and the pictures of the Atlanta development, I couldn't really identify too much of that. To me it looked more like just your standard generic modern pretty shopping thing, very similar to Newport on the Levee. Nothing too interesting architecturally. But I gather they don't have all those details figured out yet anyway.

There's also quite a bit of park space, and the knoll that currently stands south of the Freedom Center stands a good chance of ending up as a veterans memorial park.

So my verdict is good. Not fantastic, but good. I'm not so far impressed with the finer details of the design and I think they could stand some more thought. But the basic shell of the area -- the distribution of park space, the height of the buildings -- looks good to me. And there are still a lot of questions to be answered but I think the laughter regarding the project is going to die down soon. They are on it more than people realize and I very much get the impression that it's very close to happening.

SunDeck
04-23-2007, 07:28 PM
Well, that's just great.




Now where will the circus set up?




And where will the homeless guys camp?





And where will 25,000 men pee when they are tailgating at PBS?






And finally, where are Cincinnatians supposed to toss their old furniture and appliances now?

Chip R
04-23-2007, 08:30 PM
It's nice to have a dream.

Redsland
04-23-2007, 08:40 PM
It's nice to have a dream.
What's with all the negativism?

All they need is the financing and for city council to start issuing approvals.

;)

Chip R
04-23-2007, 08:45 PM
What's with all the negativism?

All they need is the financing and for city council to start issuing approvals.

;)


Well, hey, if that's all that needs to happen, I'm going to be reserving my condo space down there as soon as that warm front leaves Hell.

KYRedsFan
04-23-2007, 08:49 PM
I've seen more drawings of this development than I care for. Just get it done.

KronoRed
04-23-2007, 10:08 PM
I'll eat my hat if in 5 years the space between the stadiums is anything more then a bunch of parking lots with the freedom center in the middle.

Redsland
04-23-2007, 11:05 PM
No way.

The Freedom Center will be long gone in five years.

:)

Caveat Emperor
04-23-2007, 11:09 PM
No way.

The Freedom Center will be long gone in five years.

:)

Its too bad -- the Freedom Center is a really nice facility, I just don't know that a museum dedicated to chronicaling one of the worst parts of American history is a good fit for what the city hopes to turn into an active entertainment district.

KronoRed
04-23-2007, 11:24 PM
No way.

The Freedom Center will be long gone in five years.

:)

Well I'm sure the building will still be there, demolition is expensive :D

Yachtzee
04-23-2007, 11:31 PM
Did I ever tell you about the time I caught that 250 pound catfish out of the Ohio River? And it glowed green in the dark for some reason. Man that was great. :laugh:

Did Bob Boone help you reel it in?

WMR
04-23-2007, 11:45 PM
Did Bob Boone help you reel it in?

Haha, no, but the strangest thing... when I cut open his belly I found a diamond--YES ACTUAL DIAMONDS--encrusted collar entitled, "Schottzie."

And THAT'S when it REALLY started to get strange! :laugh:

Roy Tucker
04-24-2007, 10:35 AM
I certainly have a healthy dose of cynicism about the Banks and have contributed my fair share of snarkiness about it. The amount of bumbling and stupid city and county politics and blundering has been titanic and colossal.

But I sure hope they can pull it off. Because if they don't, the whole cycle of a new Ft. Washington Way, new stadiums, etc. will have failed. Which is a whole lot of money and a once-in-50 years chance to revitalize downtown totally blown.

LawFive
04-24-2007, 08:28 PM
but where else can I park for $3/day?

Redlegs23
05-09-2007, 10:09 AM
http://www.southbankpartners.com/flashsrc/SouthBankVideo_1.html

Seems like the N. Ky. side of the river isn't wasting much time. Hopefully Cincinnati can get on the ball and surprise us, then each side of the river could be pretty neat. Seems like a big if considering the past though.

zombielady
05-09-2007, 11:18 AM
I'll be honest with you... Covington's riverfront area doesn't need much improvement. Cincinnati on the other hand...

DoogMinAmo
08-17-2007, 07:40 PM
More news:
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070817/NEWS01/708170382/1077/COL02

Group OKs Banks plan
BY JESSICA BROWN | JLBROWN@ENQUIRER.COM
E-mail | Print | digg us! | del.icio.us!


Cincinnati's Planning Commission on Thursday night recommended approval of a Banks riverfront development that will be twice as dense and could be twice as tall as originally anticipated.

The seven-member commission voted 5-1, with one member absent, to recommend approval of the latest Banks plans.

The plans put the development at 2.8 million square feet with buildings up to 30 stories tall. The previous riverfront master plan, adopted in 2000, called for a maximum of 1.4 million square feet and capped building heights at 16 stories.


Planning Commission member John Schneider cast the lone dissenting vote, because of the new height allowances. Commission members noted concerns that tall buildings could block views downtown, create an unfriendly canyon-like appearance on the riverfront and interfere with height restrictions in the Bengals' lease with the county.

• Comment on the updated plan for The Banks
• See updated plan for The Banks
• Special Section: The Banks


"We only have four 30-or-more-story buildings in our entire downtown," Schneider said. "I think I'll have to regretfully vote no. This is a pretty remarkable change in the status quo. I'd just have to be convinced that 30 stories is the way to go."

The Banks' Atlanta-based developers, Carter Real Estate and the Harold Dawson Co., said they don't have any plans to build skyscrapers on the riverfront. They just want flexibility so that if a major corporation wants to build its headquarters there they can work to accommodate it, said Bailey Pope of the Dawson Co.

"We're creating a window of opportunity for a Fortune 500 company to join the riverfront," he said.

City Manager Milton Dohoney agreed with the 30-story flexibility. "I think the spirit of the (increased height) request is for the city to be attractive for outside investors," he said.

He noted that this plan is just an outline. The Planning Commission still will be required to sign off on final details, including building heights on each block, as the development moves forward. Developers plan to begin construction by April.

Developers said the dramatic changes in the new plans "allow us to push the vision a little further," Pope said. The companies believe there is a larger demand for space on the Cincinnati's riverfront - especially for apartments and condominiums - than earlier anticipated.

The maximum amount of retail space has increased from 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet. Residential space increased from 745,000 square feet to 1.8 million square feet. Office space increased from 200,000 square feet to 1 million square feet. Hotel space increased from 200,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet. Total space, though, is capped at 2.8 million square feet.

The new Banks plan will move forward to the Cincinnati City Council and Hamilton County Commission. Both governments must approve the plans. They are expected to vote by Sept. 12.

KronoRed
08-17-2007, 09:19 PM
I certainly hope they avoid mondo skyscrapers, walling off the river is not a good plan

Yachtzee
08-18-2007, 03:55 AM
Talk about killing the Banks Project. Ouch! Exactly the type of development they don't want on the river would be a big corporate tower, if the goal is to make it an inviting nighttime destination. Nothing says "party time" like a corporate office tower that empties out at 5 pm.

KronoRed
08-18-2007, 02:43 PM
Yep, empties out and everyone heads over to Newport for the fun

vaticanplum
08-18-2007, 02:56 PM
Yep, empties out and everyone heads over to Newport for the fun

No, not if there are viable things to do on the same block as their place of employment. The added business is not at the expense of the entertainment being planned -- just in addition to it. Building up, basically.

I believe that the 30-story buildings will be required to sit farther back from the river, not right on the edge. However, I don't think that will ultimately go through. A lot of people involved in this project are pretty determined that the great majority of the buildings remain low. They may cap it higher than 16 stories, but i don't know about 30.

KronoRed
08-18-2007, 03:27 PM
No, not if there are viable things to do on the same block as their place of employment. The added business is not at the expense of the entertainment being planned -- just in addition to it. Building up, basically.



Maybe, but they increased the office space from 200k square feet to a million, considering there isn't really an office space shortage in the downtown area I'm concerned that this plan will continue to be altered till it's a few bars, a hotel and a bunch of sky towers.

DoogMinAmo
08-18-2007, 08:09 PM
Maybe, but they increased the office space from 200k square feet to a million, considering there isn't really an office space shortage in the downtown area I'm concerned that this plan will continue to be altered till it's a few bars, a hotel and a bunch of sky towers.

The big reason for that is flexibility in case a large corporation wishes to move its headquarters to Cincinnati, namely the Banks. If it comes down to getting another large corporation in the city I don't want a zoning limit to stop them. They wont build the extra floors unless necessary, the planning commision wont let them (all the individual buildings still must be approved before construction). Chances are that the buildings would be nowhere near that height.

paintmered
08-19-2007, 12:18 AM
The big reason for that is flexibility in case a large corporation wishes to move its headquarters to Cincinnati, namely the Banks. If it comes down to getting another large corporation in the city I don't want a zoning limit to stop them. They wont build the extra floors unless necessary, the planning commision wont let them (all the individual buildings still must be approved before construction). Chances are that the buildings would be nowhere near that height.

I think this is happening because it looks like the second phase of Queen City Square is a go. For those of you unfamiliar with the project, it will be the tallest tower in the city measuring over 660 feet.

http://cmsimg.enquirer.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Dato=20070815&Kategori=BIZ01&Lopenr=708150321&Ref=AR&Q=80&MaxW=450&MaxH=475&Site=AB&Q=80&Border=0&Title=0

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/queencitysquare-1.jpg

Caveat Emperor
08-19-2007, 09:54 PM
The big reason for that is flexibility in case a large corporation wishes to move its headquarters to Cincinnati, namely the Banks. If it comes down to getting another large corporation in the city I don't want a zoning limit to stop them. They wont build the extra floors unless necessary, the planning commision wont let them (all the individual buildings still must be approved before construction). Chances are that the buildings would be nowhere near that height.

Trouble with that logic is that it seems to me that the trend is that most companies now are fleeing the big cities and setting up shop in the suburbs, where they can have greater flexibility and pay less money in rent.

Yachtzee
08-20-2007, 03:52 AM
Trouble with that logic is that it seems to me that the trend is that most companies now are fleeing the big cities and setting up shop in the suburbs, where they can have greater flexibility and pay less money in rent.

I see the same problem. I would say that the problem with a Fortune 500 company locating its headquarters in the Banks project from the company's view is that not only is rent and property cheaper in the suburbs cheaper, but there is also plenty of land to expand. For a large company to locate its HQ in the Banks, it has to bet on zero growth.

Personally, I think better targets for the Banks project are to encourage a larger number of small and medium-sized professional firms (accounting, advertising, marketing, IT consulting and law firms as examples). They tend to have all the features of businesses that will attract residents and money to a mixed commercial-residential-entertainment area. They've got plenty of young professionals who would have a greater desire to live closer to lively neighborhoods, they've got client-based businesses that rely on longer working hours and business dinners and entertainment, and if a tenant moves out, you aren't left with a big empty building.

Doog, you're the resident expert on real estate development. Is this desire for flexibility an honest response to interest from Fortune 500 companies? The concern I have is that the desire for flexibility in the development comes from a failure of the parties driving the Banks project to maintain the momentum of the project, resulting in the loss of potential tenants who have decided to move on with other options rather than wait for the project to get off the ground.

DoogMinAmo
08-20-2007, 01:34 PM
I see the same problem. I would say that the problem with a Fortune 500 company locating its headquarters in the Banks project from the company's view is that not only is rent and property cheaper in the suburbs cheaper, but there is also plenty of land to expand. For a large company to locate its HQ in the Banks, it has to bet on zero growth.

Personally, I think better targets for the Banks project are to encourage a larger number of small and medium-sized professional firms (accounting, advertising, marketing, IT consulting and law firms as examples). They tend to have all the features of businesses that will attract residents and money to a mixed commercial-residential-entertainment area. They've got plenty of young professionals who would have a greater desire to live closer to lively neighborhoods, they've got client-based businesses that rely on longer working hours and business dinners and entertainment, and if a tenant moves out, you aren't left with a big empty building.

Doog, you're the resident expert on real estate development. Is this desire for flexibility an honest response to interest from Fortune 500 companies? The concern I have is that the desire for flexibility in the development comes from a failure of the parties driving the Banks project to maintain the momentum of the project, resulting in the loss of potential tenants who have decided to move on with other options rather than wait for the project to get off the ground.

Thanks for the complement, although I am far from such. I just am a concerned citizen with some knowledge of the field and an ear to the railroad tracks.

Some points regarding you flexibility concerns:

1. In new mixed use developments, office space can often be the last space to achieve a demand. (Residential and retail would obviously be the first.) I would imagine this would especially be the case in an urban setting where so many other options, way cheaper ones than prime riverfront class A at that, available to businesses considering the area.

2. With a project divided into phases like the Banks is, it can both give the developer an opportunity to gauge interest and adjust the future portions of development accordingly, and/or it gives the developer/ leasing agents valuable demographic information to sell the possibilty and potential of the future phases to prospective clients.

3. With the incredible recent growth spurt and reinvestment in downtown, I would think suburban office centers/parks should get concerned and quick, because they can only hope to immitate the density,walkability, amenities and glamour of an urban location. Not to mention a recent study found Cincinnati as the 7th most economical city int he country for a corporate headquarters:
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070814/BIZ01/308140025/1076/BIZ
And it would have been even higher if it hadnt been for Delta.

4. It is very early in the process to be concerned over marketed tenants, and especially over possible lost tenants. Tenants signed to a space will happen as construction starts, and will take off when phase I is completed. Until then, it is a giant ploy between prospective tenants and landlords for good deals, full buildings, and public hype.

My optimism for this project is unhindered by this latest news, if not increase. Although I like many others here would prefer that the scale of the development be closer to the 10-15 story range than 25+, but for sheer aesthetic purposes mostly, the fact that they are discussing future flexibility and hammering out an actual development agreement is huge, it means both parties want it to be done.

Paint,

The Queen City Tower has been on the drawing board for quite some time, and Western Southern has been trying to market it to tenants in the city, in the burbs, and in other cities to help take it off. The word is that the first tower which has already been built, the ten story tower to the right in your rendering, with its many modern amenities has sparked demand for new class A office space, and WS is moving up the timetable to get the taller tower started. However, it wont happen until it is at least 50% pre leased.

Some fun facts about QST:

It is designed by HOK with both modern and art deco exterioir elements to recapture some of the city's past glory; the bonnet on top is unoccupiable so the tallest floor would still be below Carew Tower even though the building as a whole is taller; it would represent the first building larger than 15 stories to be constructed in downtown since, I believe, 1992.

DoogMinAmo
08-20-2007, 01:39 PM
Trouble with that logic is that it seems to me that the trend is that most companies now are fleeing the big cities and setting up shop in the suburbs, where they can have greater flexibility and pay less money in rent.

Yes it is cheaper, but two recent trends, urban revitalization and corporate headquarter relocation to midwestern cities, present counter arguements.

I would like to reiterate, there is no insider information or high likelihood here, it is just openly discussed flexibility in case the recently unimagineable happens.

vaticanplum
08-20-2007, 08:25 PM
What exactly are the cross streets of that Queen City Tower? It looks quite far east. I drive Eastern Avenue to work every day, and a few weeks ago, all of a sudden, whatever was just east of the Midland building was razed practically overnight -- so fast that I, embarrassingly, cannot remember whether it was a building or a small parking lot there before. Is that where this tower is due to go? But I don't think the Western Southern building is that far east, is it?

Pretty building; thanks for the tidbits on its design, Doog.

On a side note, hey Doog, current expert, can you tell me what was originally housed in the building on Fourth Street west of Vine that now has a TJ Maxx on the bottom? It's just south of the Carew Tower and has all of this incredible colored art deco fruit carved into the facade. Nobody has been able to tell me what that used to be; in fact most people I've asked haven't even noticed it (the carving starts on the second floor).

paintmered
08-20-2007, 09:17 PM
What exactly are the cross streets of that Queen City Tower? It looks quite far east. I drive Eastern Avenue to work every day, and a few weeks ago, all of a sudden, whatever was just east of the Midland building was razed practically overnight -- so fast that I, embarrassingly, cannot remember whether it was a building or a small parking lot there before. Is that where this tower is due to go? But I don't think the Western Southern building is that far east, is it?

3rd and Sycamore. The current W&S garage is to be razed and the tower built in its place. The first phase is on the corner of 3rd and Broadway.

It is the new Western and Southern (et. al.) building and the first phase was completed about two years ago. If you'll notice, the first 8 floors or so of the first phase is parking garage to accommodate the parking capacity lost from the old garage. Through my perusings online, I've heard it mentioned that this tower is the real reason why the GABP "gap" was so architecturally featured. Most of the tower should be visible through the gap.

Here's a really good thread to read up on the developments. http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3170.0

There are also lengthy threads on pretty much every proposed and ongoing Cincinnati development there (The Banks and streetcars included).

vaticanplum
08-20-2007, 11:06 PM
That's a great resource, thanks paint.

DoogMinAmo
08-21-2007, 12:44 AM
What exactly are the cross streets of that Queen City Tower? It looks quite far east. I drive Eastern Avenue to work every day, and a few weeks ago, all of a sudden, whatever was just east of the Midland building was razed practically overnight -- so fast that I, embarrassingly, cannot remember whether it was a building or a small parking lot there before. Is that where this tower is due to go? But I don't think the Western Southern building is that far east, is it?

Pretty building; thanks for the tidbits on its design, Doog.

On a side note, hey Doog, current expert, can you tell me what was originally housed in the building on Fourth Street west of Vine that now has a TJ Maxx on the bottom? It's just south of the Carew Tower and has all of this incredible colored art deco fruit carved into the facade. Nobody has been able to tell me what that used to be; in fact most people I've asked haven't even noticed it (the carving starts on the second floor).

I remember having a similar conversation with a friend, and I am not sure if it was BS, but I was told it used to be a grocery. Dont quote me on that, but it is better than nothing.

registerthis
08-21-2007, 10:57 AM
Trouble with that logic is that it seems to me that the trend is that most companies now are fleeing the big cities and setting up shop in the suburbs, where they can have greater flexibility and pay less money in rent.

That's been a huge problem for the inner core of cities across the country for the last 15 years or so. Some cities are fighting back with huge tax breaks and abatements for companies that either move back downtown or stay there in lieu of moving elsewhere. Columbus is doing that, and New York City has really been pushing that strategy (the Goldman Sachs headquarters in lower Manhattan being but one example). I have serious mixed feelings about such programs--I fully understand the importance of having a vibrant, viable central core (and the resultant benefits it typically provides throughout the city), but luring businesses downtown through the use of exhorbitant tax abatements seems akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul. I suppose the hope is that the presence of several large employers in the central business district encourages others to follow suit sans enticements--but its far too premature to label such strategies as long term successes.

Roy Tucker
08-28-2007, 01:54 PM
Found this article on the Banks very interesting in that taxpayers will fund 18.3% of it and that the Bengals have considerable say in it...

http://citybeat.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A141091

News: The Banks: Bigger, More Costly
Changes in long-delayed project likely to be approved

BY Kevin Osborne | Posted 08/22/2007

Taxpayers likely will foot more of the bill to build the long-stalled Banks housing and shopping district along Cincinnati's riverfront. In return, local officials and developers want to build a much larger project than originally envisioned.

The Cincinnati Planning Commission last week recommended approval for several changes sought by developers in the master plan for The Banks. They include doubling the development space allowed at the 17-acre site from 1.4 million square feet to 2.8 million square feet.

To achieve that goal, height restrictions on buildings in most of the riverfront area would be increased from 16 stories to 30 stories.

Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Commissioners will make the final decision on the proposed changes. Both groups have indicated their support, and a vote is likely by Sept. 12.

"I definitely think the heights need to be increased," says County Commissioner David Pepper. "Without the right density, the project won't work. At the end, this thing has to make sense financially, or it won't get done."

Higher subsidy
The proposed changes include divvying up the extra space by increasing the amount of residential space from 745,000 square feet to 1.8 million square feet, increasing retail space from 300,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet, increasing office space from 200,000 square feet to 1 million square feet and increasing hotel space from 200,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet.

As part of the county's lease with the Bengals for Paul Brown Stadium, the team controls building heights for structures built near the football stadium, in an effort to preserve view corridors. County officials will have to persuade team executives to allow changes there, Pepper concedes.

"Obviously, that will have to be something that will be negotiated with the Bengals," Pepper says.

He says he believes the team will be more amenable now that the county's anti-trust lawsuit against the Bengals is dropped. Those negotiations don't have to be completed before the project is begun, he says.

"The first phase doesn't include those buildings," Pepper says.

The changes to the master plan give some insight into the deal being privately negotiated between the Banks Working Group, a county advisory panel, and the two developers selected for the project.

The latest deadline for agreeing to a contract between the developers -- Carter & Associates Commercial Services and Harold A. Dawson Inc., both of Atlanta -- and Hamilton County expired Aug. 13 without a document finalized. This is the second deadline that the Banks Working Group has missed this year.

The panel, formed by Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials last year, initially set a Feb. 15 deadline for completing contract negotiations. When it became obvious last winter that goal wouldn't be met, the panel granted a six-month extension.

But the Banks Working Group issued a press release last week stating that, although progress was occurring, a final agreement hadn't yet been reached. Perhaps wisely, the panel avoided setting a new deadline this time.

Besides doubling the project's size, the amount of public subsidies proposed for The Banks has increased by more than $42 million, up to nearly $110 million from the previously announced total of $65 million.

With officials now touting The Banks' price tag as roughly $600 million, that means taxpayers will foot about 18.3 percent of the project's cost -- excluding money already spent to build new Reds and Bengals stadiums, redesign Fort Washington Way and install infrastructure such as sewers and new roads along the riverfront.

"My sense is, given the project's costs, that subsidy is what ultimately is needed to make the project happen," Pepper says. "Hopefully, it won't turn out to be that much. That's the upper limit."

To garner public support throughout the mid- and late 1990s, when The Banks proposal was being drafted, bombastic area officials regularly called the riverfront site the most prime piece of undeveloped commercial real estate in the nation. At the time they said the parcel would be highly attractive to developers, who would put up much of the money needed.

Hamilton County officials now say the additional subsidies are needed to get the project moving forward.

Profit sharing
Once the Banks Working Group began examining the project closely, it became clear that earlier figures were unrealistic, Pepper says. Construction costs in the past were too low, and the amount expected to be generated through tax increment financing -- using taxes generated by the completed project to help pay debt -- were too high.

Under the latest deal, the county could recoup some of its investment in the future. Developers will offer Hamilton County a 15 percent share of profits if the project is successful and certain goals are met after investors are paid off.

In fact, the doubling of the project's size is mostly an effort to increase the profit margin. In addition to allowing taller buildings, in order to increase developable space the latest proposal would add an extra block to the project that originally was slated to be part of a park.

Also, the deal being negotiated allows the developers to build The Banks over a 22-year period, if necessary. Carter and Dawson have indicated it can be completed in about 15 years but want the extra time as a precaution. That's also a shift from original plans, which called for The Banks to be built in phases over a decade.

First proposed in 1999, The Banks project is a multi-use project that would be built between the Reds and Bengals stadiums. It's planned to include a mix of condos, offices, shops and a hotel next to a large riverfront park.

The project was delayed during the past few years due to funding and jurisdictional issues, particularly who will pay for up to $81 million in parking garages and other improvements needed to lift the development above the Ohio River flood plain. County sales tax revenues were supposed to pay for the garages but are far below initial projections.

Initially, officials predicted that portions of The Banks likely would be completed in 2004 and 2007, then later revised that timetable to 2005 and 2008. Later still, officials pledged that dirt would be turned at the site beginning in spring 2006.

Now construction is slated to begin in April. ©

Chip R
08-28-2007, 02:54 PM
Initially, officials predicted that portions of The Banks likely would be completed in 2004 and 2007, then later revised that timetable to 2005 and 2008. Later still, officials pledged that dirt would be turned at the site beginning in spring 2006.

Now construction is slated to begin in April. ©

I don't know why they just don't give up and make it a green space or a parking lot.

Ltlabner
08-28-2007, 04:20 PM
I don't know why they just don't give up and make it a green space or a parking lot.

No kidding. Seed it in. Make it a huge "mall" for people to congregate and have different vendors for food, crafts, etc.

At the rate the idiots in the city/county government move they will be lucky to have a snow cone stand, a bike rack and a bail bonds office open down there by 2057.

KronoRed
08-28-2007, 07:05 PM
In 20 years if that space is still open the Reds and Bengals will start making noise about needing new stadiums on the river to "compete", ;)

vaticanplum
08-28-2007, 08:37 PM
There are a lot of people, including those involved in local government, who are working incredibly hard to make this project happen. Some of them are devoting their lives to it at present. All of these charges of apathy I see directed to the powers-that-be at every turn and every joke's opportunity only ever seem truly applicable to the public to me.

DoogMinAmo
08-28-2007, 11:16 PM
There are a lot of people, including those involved in local government, who are working incredibly hard to make this project happen. Some of them are devoting their lives to it at present. All of these charges of apathy I see directed to the powers-that-be at every turn and every joke's opportunity only ever seem truly applicable to the public to me.

:luvu::clap::thumbup:

Ltlabner
08-29-2007, 07:38 AM
There are a lot of people, including those involved in local government, who are working incredibly hard to make this project happen. Some of them are devoting their lives to it at present. All of these charges of apathy I see directed to the powers-that-be at every turn and every joke's opportunity only ever seem truly applicable to the public to me.

Yep. Appethetic that they'll get anything done. Appethetic, that based on the track record down there, that they will pull it off without frittering away millions and making poor decisions that prevent the area from being utilized well. Apethetic that they are still working on acomplishing something more than some spiffy artist renderings. So far they haven't given me much reason to have googly-eyed optimisim about the project.

There have been people "working incredibly hard" and "devoting their lives" to county and city govenerments for years. While they might get an A for effort and dedication, and I'm sure they are really nice people, they have to receive a solid F for overall results county/city wide (ok, a genrous D since there have been some signs of improvements in some various areas latley). And that track record doesn't give one much hope for future sucess with respect to the Banks. Of course I'm apathetic. But it's on them to win me back. There isn't a kabuki-feel good-support your local gunslinger onus on me to be their chearleader. It's the other way round.

It's very telling that what appears to be the first real steps forward have been accomplished after BCast and his working group took the bull by the horns. I don't think he's a "Banks-Mesiah" but he's and his group are from outside and county/city governement establishment which says a lot.

vaticanplum
08-29-2007, 09:58 AM
Yep. Appethetic that they'll get anything done. Appethetic, that based on the track record down there, that they will pull it off without frittering away millions and making poor decisions that prevent the area from being utilized well. Apethetic that they are still working on acomplishing something more than some spiffy artist renderings. So far they haven't given me much reason to have googly-eyed optimisim about the project.

There have been people "working incredibly hard" and "devoting their lives" to county and city govenerments for years. While they might get an A for effort and dedication, and I'm sure they are really nice people, they have to receive a solid F for overall results county/city wide (ok, a genrous D since there have been some signs of improvements in some various areas latley). And that track record doesn't give one much hope for future sucess with respect to the Banks. Of course I'm apathetic. But it's on them to win me back. There isn't a kabuki-feel good-support your local gunslinger onus on me to be their chearleader. It's the other way round.

It's very telling that what appears to be the first real steps forward have been accomplished after BCast and his working group took the bull by the horns. I don't think he's a "Banks-Mesiah" but he's and his group are from outside and county/city governement establishment which says a lot.

Bob Castellini most certainly has a lot to do with it. He's one of the people to whom I'm referring.

Cincinnati city council is incompetent in a lot of ways and I'm not making excuses for them. If you're someone who's really willing to be swayed by action, then I think you're of a great mindset, exactly as you should be: wanting action to prove things to you, but willing to be open to that possibility. I just run into a lot of people who pass things off as "never happening" and don't give it a second thought. City council approves the plans and figures out the money, but the general tenre of the public has a lot to do with what happens to a developing city. And the public tenre here is far worse than those in charge. At some point, the citizens of Cincinnati have to accept that they too hold some reponsibility toward the attitude and actual physical changes of their own downtown.

DoogMinAmo
10-23-2007, 01:21 PM
Alas...

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071023/NEWS01/710230339



Master deal on Banks reached
Step forward leaves money questions
BY JESSICA BROWN | JLBROWN@ENQUIRER.COM
E-mail | Print | digg us! | del.icio.us!


After months of delays to iron out the legal details, a master development agreement for the Banks riverfront project - the document that will dictate how the project will work - is done.

The documents are to be unveiled at a Banks Working Group meeting at 9 a.m. today at Great American Ball Park.

The announcement will set the stage for city and county votes on the project, perhaps as early as next week, and means that the Banks could still be on track for an end-of-year groundbreaking - that is, if the city and county can figure out where their shares of the financing will come from.


"There are a lot of details to be worked out," said Councilman Chris Bortz, head of the city's economic development committee.

The Banks is a proposed 18-acre, mixed-use neighborhood district on the Ohio River between the Great American Ball Park and the Paul Brown Stadium.

The master development agreement with Atlanta developers Carter Real Estate and the Harold Dawson Co. will detail every aspect of how the project will work, Carter's Trent Germano said. It will outline who is financing what - but not necessarily where that money will come from. The county and city must together come up with almost $200 million in public money to build parking garages to lift the project out of the flood plain, fund utilities and a build a riverfront park, among other things.

The financing has for years been a sticking point among some city and county officials.

Both governments must approve the development agreement before the project can move forward.

Commissioner Todd Portune said he expects to schedule a joint city/county meeting with Mayor Mark Mallory next week for a vote.

"I can speak on behalf of everyone in the region when I say its about time and thank goodness and interject a note of caution of don't screw it up," Portune said. "That's to all of us involved in the process. Let's not let this slip through anyone's fingertips at this point. It's time to seal the deal."

The city additionally must vote on amendments to the concept plans that would allow the development to be much larger than initially proposed.

The Cincinnati Planning Commission this summer approved the developers' request to double the density of the project to 2.8 million square feet and allow buildings to be up to 30 stories tall. Previous plans capped building heights at 15 stories.

A group of influential downtown business owners is protesting the project because of its size. The business owners fear that the project will compete with downtown, rather than complement it.

The city's economic development committee is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. today to discuss those issues, among other things.

But Bortz said the committee needs a chance to digest today's master development agreement before making any decisions.

"At this point, there's no way we're acting on anything tomorrow," Bortz said Monday. "They told us they'd have the documents to us a week ahead of time."

The master development agreement has been in the works for months. Several self-imposed deadlines by the Banks Working Group have been missed.

Germano declined Monday to give specifics of the agreement or why the process took so long.

"It's a very complicated agreement - somewhat of a matrix," he said. "And lots of aspects of the agreement have many parts. It's not an easy thing, structurally or legally."

paintmered
11-01-2007, 06:55 PM
Years of squabbling between Cincinnati and Hamilton county came to an end today. This thing might actually happen after all. Better five years late than never at all, right?



Banks approved; 'An incredible thing'
BY JESSICA BROWN | JLBROWN@ENQUIRER.COM


Cincinnati and Hamilton County governments have approved the Banks agreements, paving the way for the project to begin.

The voting —which took several minutes due to the multiple pieces of legislation —were greeted by a hearty round of applause. The votes were unanimous. Commissioner Pat DeWine was unable to participate because of a potential conflict of interest involving his law firm.

Elected officials termed it a historic occasion. Each took several moments to thank the Banks Working Group, the city-county body charged with jump-starting the project-- for getting things done. They also thanked each other for their roles, and the community for their patience.

“We’ve stared problems speed bumps and all manner of difficulty in the face and we’ve decided that in spite of it all we’ll find a way around it and we’re going to move on and we’re going to do it together,” said Commission President Todd Portune at the ceremony at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

“That’s an incredible thing for a community to realize.”

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory echoed those remarks, calling the Banks “the biggest development deal in the history of Cincinnati."

He said it shows a new era is dawning in city-county cooperation.

“Cooperation has never been the issue. But we’ve built a relationship. This is how we’re going to develop things in the future.”

The Banks is a proposed 18-acre neighborhood district on the Cincinnati riverfront between the Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. Developers hope to break ground early next year.

WMR
11-01-2007, 07:26 PM
Where's our resident naysayer, Mr. Krono?? ;) (I'll admit to being quite skeptical as well!)

Ltlabner
11-01-2007, 07:48 PM
It still aint built yet...so there's plenty of time for this deal to fall apart too.

But that negative outlook aside, it's cool to see they've made a big step foward towards getting something done down there. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but glad to see BCast could get things done where others have failed.

Reds Freak
11-01-2007, 08:04 PM
With the revitalization of downtown mainly in the Fountain Square area and upcoming projects like the Banks and streetcars, it really is an exciting time to be living in Cincinnati. I can really feel a new energy that I haven't felt in a long time downtown and it seems like leaders are finally seizing this momentum...

GoReds33
11-01-2007, 08:18 PM
With the revitalization of downtown mainly in the Fountain Square area and upcoming projects like the Banks and streetcars, it really is an exciting time to be living in Cincinnati. I can really feel a new energy that I haven't felt in a long time downtown and it seems like leaders are finally seizing this momentum...I really hope they continue this momentum. The only way it will continue however is if it shows in the taxes. If all these new improvments don't help then they will be hesitant to do more.

KronoRed
11-01-2007, 11:04 PM
Where's our resident naysayer, Mr. Krono?? ;) (I'll admit to being quite skeptical as well!)

Dude, lot of posters in this thread have been a lot more negative then me.;)

WMR
11-01-2007, 11:10 PM
Dude, lot of posters in this thread have been a lot more negative then me.;)

I know. I was one of them. I just remembered me and you for some reason. :laugh:

WMR
11-01-2007, 11:11 PM
Although after going back and reading the thread, you ARE the only one who offered to eat an article of clothing (hat). :D :laugh:

KronoRed
11-01-2007, 11:15 PM
I don't wear hats anymore, I'm safe :D

Most of my negaitivy comes from buffoons over on UrbanOhio who hope the banks crushes all development on the Kentucky side and turns it into a big parking lot for downtown.

Jerks.

WMR
11-01-2007, 11:19 PM
I don't wear hats anymore, I'm safe :D

Most of my negaitivy comes from buffoons over on UrbanOhio who hope the banks crushes all development on the Kentucky side and turns it into a big parking lot for downtown.

Jerks.

I'm with you there.

Don't think there's much chance of that happening at this point.

The infrastructure of the Kentucky side of the Ohio is too solid, firmly entrenched, and organized.

vaticanplum
11-01-2007, 11:58 PM
Don't forget to vote, kids!

DoogMinAmo
11-01-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't wear hats anymore, I'm safe :D

Most of my negaitivy comes from buffoons over on UrbanOhio who hope the banks crushes all development on the Kentucky side and turns it into a big parking lot for downtown.

Jerks.

Krono, you sure are sensitive about NKY.

While I dont like to condone any of the ridiculous cross-river rivalry unless it is sports team related (UC vs UK/UL) I would posit that if there were an urbanKY forum they would be stating the same things about the mudpit in Ohio. I think most of what you perceive as negativity, though, is a gut reaction to the suburban naysayers for the last 10 years who claim NKY is light years better than anything the Banks could ever offer. It is not so much against NKY, but the people who go there and refuse to see potential on Cincinnati's side. There is room for both developments to coexist, and hopefully make a stronger fabric together.

That much being said, I would absolutely be disappointed if Newport on the Levee was repeated on the northern banks of the Ohio. While it may somewhat currently work as an entertainment district, it fails in so many other senses (how it addresses the river, urbanistically, diversity of use, even as a retail environment). Also, the wall of condo towers popping up along the south side of the Ohio are basically vertical suburbs. Some may say any development is better than nothing, we shall see if that is the case in 5-10 years. (Although I will give NOTL one thing, it is adapting: almost the entire failed top floor retail space is being converted to office space)

UrbanOhio, as the namesake implies, is about promoting urban environments in Ohio. With such an agenda and the opposition they have met, you should not be surprised to read such things over there. That much being said I very much doubt, though, that anyone over there genuinely "hope the banks crushes all development on the Kentucky side and turns it into a big parking lot for downtown."

KronoRed
11-02-2007, 12:12 AM
Krono, you sure are sensitive about NKY.


Not really, I just find it hilarious that that a "rivalry" is brought up at all, if the state line were 20 miles to the south 98% of it wouldn't exist, a lot of it comes across as "well we're north of the river and we're more sophisticated" Please..Northern Kentucky IS part of suburban Cincinnati, same type of people and all ;)

Reds Freak
11-02-2007, 08:58 PM
I don't wear hats anymore, I'm safe :D

Most of my negaitivy comes from buffoons over on UrbanOhio who hope the banks crushes all development on the Kentucky side and turns it into a big parking lot for downtown.

Jerks.

Krono, I think you are doing a little selective reading of that site over there. I too am a frequent visitor to UrbanOhio. Most of the folks on that site have a lot of high praise for most parts of Northern Kentucky such as Covington and other parts of Newport. They don't particularly like Newport on the Levee as much because of its "suburban mall feel". I also think most of them are little bitter because of the suburbanites who think you need a bullet proof vest to walk in downtown Cincinnati and NOTL is the only safe place to go...

BoydsOfSummer
11-04-2007, 06:34 PM
By the time they get that done the Reds will be playing in their new West Chester ballpark.

Reds Freak
11-04-2007, 09:00 PM
By the time they get that done the Reds will be playing in their new West Chester ballpark.

These things don't spring up over night. They are completing the project in phases. The plan right now is to have people living and eating at the Banks by the end of 2009, which might be a little optimistic but nonetheless I hope GABP isn't obsolete by then. From what I've read the whole project won't be completely finished until around 2017.

And from the way West Chester is building, they won't have a single acre available for construction in a few years...

KronoRed
11-04-2007, 09:45 PM
By the time they get that done the Reds will be playing in their new West Chester ballpark.

Nah, they will be in Dayton, The Cincinnati Reds of Dayton :thumbup:

Actually I do wonder if in 25 years Cincinnati will be an attractive MLB market, assuming baseball doesn't expand in that time period quite a few metro areas project to be bigger then Cincy by then.

paintmered
11-04-2007, 10:36 PM
Nah, they will be in Dayton, The Cincinnati Reds of Dayton :thumbup:

Actually I do wonder if in 25 years Cincinnati will be an attractive MLB market, assuming baseball doesn't expand in that time period quite a few metro areas project to be bigger then Cincy by then.

Cincy and Dayton will be considered a single metro area by then. Put them together today and CinDay is something like the 10th largest market in the country.

KronoRed
11-04-2007, 10:45 PM
16th or 17th actually, but bring on the Reds of Dayton ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_United_States_Combined_Statistical_Areas

BoydsOfSummer
11-05-2007, 08:07 PM
Cincy and Dayton will be considered a single metro area by then. Put them together today and CinDay is something like the 10th largest market in the country.

And Kitty and I will be living with our Middletown neighbors in a burg known as Intermediateton. Home of the Big Blue Middies!

GoReds33
11-05-2007, 09:48 PM
Cincy and Dayton will be considered a single metro area by then. Put them together today and CinDay is something like the 10th largest market in the country.You're exactly right. The are between the two cities is expanding like never before. I think that the next Reds stadium will be a little further from the river, and probably in a central location between the two.:)

KronoRed
11-05-2007, 10:05 PM
You're exactly right. The are between the two cities is expanding like never before. I think that the next Reds stadium will be a little further from the river, and probably in a central location between the two.:)

If the only way to travel between the two is I-75 I hope they build it with a TON of parking :help:

paintmered
11-05-2007, 10:12 PM
If the only way to travel between the two is I-75 I hope they build it with a TON of parking :help:

Nah, Ohio Hub will be up and running by then. ;)

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Ohio%20Hub/Website/ordc/index.html

DoogMinAmo
11-05-2007, 11:34 PM
Nah, Ohio Hub will be up and running by then. ;)

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Ohio%20Hub/Website/ordc/index.html

Among the many other dream projects that would do wonders for this state and city, I pray for high speed rail to become a reality. The sad thing is everyone knows it is valuable, everyone wants to see it happen, but it keeps getting put off due to capital costs. (Fitting, then, that you link it in the Banks thread.)

Caveat Emperor
01-18-2011, 04:09 AM
Bumping up, because apparently we're getting close to the long-awaited (read: since 1996) opening of the first phase of "The Banks."

Announced tenants, thus far, include:
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill (sounds positively nightmarish, but I'm guessing it's a country bar);
Holy Grail (of the Clifton fame);
Crepe Nanou (french bistro);
The Wine Loft (a wine bar);
Huey’s 24/7 Diner (supposedly a new orleans style diner)

And now this announcement:

Johnny Rockets is poised to open a flagship, sports-themed restaurant and bar at The Banks riverfront development.

The nearly 3,000 square foot restaurant will be a “landmark” venue for Johnny Rockets as one of the first stores to adopt a sports lounge concept, said Cozette Phifer Koerber, vice president of brand marketing and corporate communications for Johnny Rockets
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/developingnow/2011/01/17/johnny-rockets-coming-to-the-banks/

Some of this is slated to be open for Opening Day 2011.

I'm underwhelmed thus far, but I guess I have to admit some shock that there's anything there at all after these many years.

bucksfan2
01-18-2011, 09:13 AM
Bumping up, because apparently we're getting close to the long-awaited (read: since 1996) opening of the first phase of "The Banks."

Announced tenants, thus far, include:
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill (sounds positively nightmarish, but I'm guessing it's a country bar);
Holy Grail (of the Clifton fame);
Crepe Nanou (french bistro);
The Wine Loft (a wine bar);
Huey’s 24/7 Diner (supposedly a new orleans style diner)

And now this announcement:

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/developingnow/2011/01/17/johnny-rockets-coming-to-the-banks/

Some of this is slated to be open for Opening Day 2011.

I'm underwhelmed thus far, but I guess I have to admit some shock that there's anything there at all after these many years.

Don't forget there will be a Christian Moerlein beer haus right next door but not technically in the banks.

FWIW I think the Holy Grail is going to be very good down there. I do think they need some nice restaurants as well as better eateries.