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JUNCTA JUVANT
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After the long delayed project that has kept the city in county bunting heads for almost a decade ... we are finally seeing approval, financing details and have a ground-breaking set for early next year! I will try to keep this thread updated and the renderings coming as they become finalized.

Council voted 9-0 Monday to approve the agreements with the developer


Banks approved; 'An incredible thing'
BY JESSICA BROWN | [email protected]


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.


(Updated since the renderings were released: The height of the buildings have been increased to 24 story cap and residential and commercial space to be doubled. Like I said, I will update renderings as they become available)

















Complete story from the very beginning: http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=newsbanks


What is the Banks?

Location: Downtown, an 18 acre site that sits between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ballpark. "It would be a 24-hour destination spot with housing, restaurants, shops, offices and a riverfront park."

Green-space: A 40 acre park-space that will include fountains, carousel, bike pathways, statues and a connection to the Ohio River.

Total Size: 2.8 million square feet of space. (residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment.)

Move In: Expect People living there by late 2009 or early 2010. I'm going with the latter.

Cost: Over $1 billion.

How many people will live at the Banks? Roughly "3,000".



First Phase:

"Among the details of the proposed development discussed so far: A new employee readiness committee and local inclusion consultant will help make sure the project meets its goal of at least 22 percent of labor hours worked by minorities and women; widened sidewalks along Freedom Way, for cafes and kiosks; and workers will be paid a prevailing wage.

The first phase would consist of 300 rental units and 70,000 square feet of retail space. Next would be 120 for-sale condos and 300 square feet of office space. The rest, Germano said, would be affected by what the market demands: “The worst thing to do would be to build it and have it be vacant.”

The apartments likely will be among the most expensive in the city, renting at $1,000 for a smaller unit of about 700 square feet, and up to about $1,600 a month. “It’s going to take those kinds of rents to be successful,” said Tim Riordan, a member of The Banks Working Group."

First Phase Financing:

"Of the up to $200 million in public money, $106 million will be used for street improvements, utilities and to build parking garages. The garages will be a platform for the rest of the project and will raise it out of the level of the flood plain. The rest ($80 plus million) will be used for the riverfront park.

Of the $106 million, $27 million will come from as yet unspecified grants, according to county officials; $10 million will come from the developers, $26 million will come from the city, $21 million will come from the county. The remaining $22 million will come from tax increment financing, according to Eric Stuckey, an assistant county administrator.

The city has already set aside $17.5 million in its existing budget to put toward its $26 million chunk of the project. Any cost overruns or funding gaps would be shouldered jointly by the city and county."
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #2
The Banks is a done deal

10 YEARS IN THE MAKING
BY JESSICA BROWN | [email protected]
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With glowing remarks, handshakes all around and even a little humor, Hamilton County and Cincinnati's elected leaders Thursday approved the Banks project.

"This marks moving from a vision and dream to a reality," Councilwoman Laketa Cole said. "We can finally say we did it."

The culmination of a decade's worth of work on the long-stalled project came about 2 p.m. Thursday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In a series of "yes" votes, in front of a crowd of more than 150, Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Commission approved what is intended to set the riverfront development in motion.



The Banks is envisioned as an 18-acre neighborhood on the Cincinnati riverfront between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park. It is to include apartments, condominiums, shops, restaurants, office buildings and a 40-acre park.

Thursday's vote came, not coincidentally, less than a week before Election Day. The timing was not lost on anyone at the table. Many thought that it was critical to get the deal sealed before Tuesday because all nine City Council seats are up for grabs.

Atlanta developers Carter Real Estate and the Harold Dawson Co. expect to break ground early next year and have people living and working at The Banks by the end of 2009 or early 2010.

Officials expect The Banks to be a signature project that will spur new economic development by bringing jobs, residents and visitors to the riverfront.

Thursday's separate votes were unanimous among the nine City Council members and two county commissioners. The third county commissioner, Pat DeWine, did not participate in the vote because of a potential conflict of interest involving his law firm. Mayor Mark Mallory, under the city's charter, also does not vote on council ordinances. Both men said they support the project.

Councilwoman Cole said she still has concerns about certain parts of the project such as the construction of decks over Fort Washington Way, which is not yet funded, and making sure minorities continue to have fair representation in the project and financing. But she expects those concerns to be worked out.

No one at the table Thursday underplayed the importance of approving the project, or its significance to the region, in their view.

"We're about to sign off on one of the biggest development deals in the history of Cincinnati," Mallory said.

The elected officials called the vote a historic moment and a launching point for the turnaround of the region. They said it marks a new era in city-county cooperation.

"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," Commission President Todd Portune said. "That's an incredible thing for a community to realize."

Each person 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 its patience.

The event was punctuated by some moments that drew chuckles from the audience. Cole instructed council to "Get 'er done."

Chris Bortz practically shouted his "Yes" during the last string of votes by council.

When Portune's turn to vote came, he pretended for a moment that he was having second thoughts.

Councilman John Cranley said he's "looking forward to having my beer at ESPN Zone," referring to a sports bar he hopes will locate at The Banks.

The votes took several minutes because of the many pieces of legislation needed to launch the project.

To the natives here ... this picture means a thousand words! ;)



http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/NEWS01/711020412/-1/newsbanks
 

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Now we just need high speed rail between Indy and Cincy (and Chicago) to connect two great downtowns and cities.

This is great for Cincinnati and I can't wait to see the final project (even if it's still 5 or 6 years away).
 

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I am excited about the streetcars! I hope more midwestern cities follow.
Cincinnati had an extremely complex street car system, thats great! I can't wait to see the river project finished. I was in Cincinnati a few weeks ago, and I was wondering what they were going to do with the land on the river front. I'v been waiting for a Cincinnati development thread FOREVER. :cheer:
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #7
glad you created this thread, cincinnatus. this is LONG overdue. cincinnati's been neglected for far too long on skyscrapercity.
I can't take credit for this ... thank the mods, but you can blame UrbanOhio.com for the Cincinnati and Cleveland neglecting ... ;)
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #11
Miller-Valentine Group has decided to add 2 more floors, making 'One River Plaza' 15 stories...



Condo tower rises to meet demand for unique views
BY LAURA BAVERMAN | CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER
November 9, 2007

DOWNTOWN - Downtown condo project One River Plaza still has nine units left to sell before it can begin construction, but recent activity is giving the developers confidence.

Responding to potential buyers' requests for more uniquely positioned corner penthouse units, Miller-Valentine Group and the Gregory family cut the size of the top two floors and added two more floors on top of them, making the building 15 stories high. That kept the 12 penthouse units, but gave the three units on each of the top four floors both riverbend and city views.

The change added $3 million to the $140 million project cost, but those changes helped the developers sell $5 million in volume over the past three weeks, inching closer to the 33-unit required sales marker.

"People who want to pay that premium wanted corner units," said Doug Hine, president of Miller-Valentine's urban lifestyles division. His team also added a swimming pool between the two buildings to meet potential buyers' demands.

The project, announced just over a year ago, includes two condo towers totaling 150 units, two restaurants, a private club and guest suites for residents. They range in price from $400,000 to several million dollars, with prices expected to creep up once all pre-construction units are sold.

Hine declined to share specific price increases, but said that some units at Miller-Valentine's nearby Park Place at Lytle project, completed in 2005, sold for 40 percent more than the original asking price.

Nick Lingenfelter, assistant vice president of commercial real estate at LaSalle Bank, doesn't expect that to happen at One River Plaza. At least not now.

"I don't think in this market you're going to see an immediate jump," Lingenfelter said. "There are definitely buyers out there, but they still have to worry about selling their homes."

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2007/11/12/story11.html
 

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Great news about the Banks and the streetcar. I'm glad to hear Cincinnati is finally gearing up for rail service. It's long overdue. Here's hoping it's the start of something great for Cincy. I remember reading about a DMU commuter rail service between downtown and Milford. What's the latest word on that?
 

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A couple of years ago it was proposed. It was away from the CBD, close to the water as you entered the city from Kentucky. It had an awesome crown.
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #18
Oh, you're talking about Queen City Square, Phase I&II. Phase I is done. Someone from the "inside" says for us to expect to hear something in Nov-Dec. Check out www.UrbanOhio.com for more details.

Also, that's way over near 3rd & Broadway.
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #19
SCPA photo update, 11/10/07
Building Cincinnati, 11/12/07


Earth is being moved and some rather deep holes are being excavated for the new School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Over-the-Rhine.

The $72 million, five-floor building will occupy the block bounded by Race, Elm and Twelfth streets and Central Parkway.

The new school will combine Cincinnati Public Schools' SCPA program for grades 4 through 12 with Schiel Primary's K-3 program. It will serve 1,350 students and be the first public K-12 arts school in the United States.

http://www.building-cincinnati.com/2007/11/scpa-photo-update-111007.html











 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Discussion Starter #20
Ikea on track for '08 opening
BY MIKE BOYER | [email protected]
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WEST CHESTER TWP. – Ikea-fanatics take note. Construction of the iconic home furnishing retailers’ first Ohio store here is about two-thirds complete, paving the way for its planned spring opening.

An opening date for Ikea’s 34th U.S. store hasn’t been set. But spokesman Joseph Roth said today construction of the 344,000-square-foot blue-and-yellow store off Muhlhauser and Allen roads should be finished in January.

That will allow Ikea employees to begin a two-to-three month “build-out” period to install storage racks, finish the store’s 50 different room settings and stock the 10,000 different items – from meatballs to sofas – that each Ikea store carries.



• More West Chester news. Join the discussion.

Located on 56 acres overlooking Interstate 75, the store is one of only two Ikeas to open in the United States in 2008. It is expected to draw shoppers from several states looking for the privately held Swedish company’s mix of value and sleek styling.

Lonnie Rodgers II, store manager, said all 50 department managers have been hired, and hiring of the first of about 350 hourly employees is underway. A particular focus is on food service workers for the store’s 300-seat restaurant, employee cafeteria, quick-serve Bistro and Swedish foodmarket.

Food is an important part of the Ikea experience because Roth said the typical shopper spends three hours perusing the store’s second-floor showroom and first-floor Marketplace, featuring accessories, cookware and lighting.





 
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