Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
The Banks Phase II Groundbreaking: “Cincinnati on the Rise”
Written By: Malloy Peterson, Senior Vice President
It was a beautiful spring day in Cincinnati yesterday, May 6th, when about 100 guests converged on the construction site for Phase II of The Banks development. The guests celebrated the kick-off for the project’s second phase, which will include 291 luxury apartments and 20,000 square feet of additional retail. The theme of the event, “Laying the Foundation for Progress at The Banks,” was brought to life with a ceremonial concrete pour to create the first two pillars for the development, which will be lifted out of the parking deck to street level as a first step.
The event commenced with words from Jim Shelton, Carter Vice Chair, who took us back to 2007 when Carter was first named co-master developer for the project. Shelton reflected back on what drew Carter to the project from the onset. “We were attracted to The Banks opportunity because it is one of the most unique sites in the country.” He cited the handful of major national and regional awards for planning, design, parking, and overall development that the project has received since that time. “But people want more,” he said. Shelton explained that Phase II will have a denser, more urban feel.
“We hope to have an office building down here soon. We hope to have a hotel down here soon too,” Shelton added.
Joint Banks Steering Committee Chair and Cincinnati Reds CEO, Bob Castellini remembered the early years as well, “We had a lot of presentations and developers who wanted it, but nobody stepped up like Carter,” he said. He reminded attendees that “for 10 years, it was a dust pit” that he used to see from outside The Great American Ball Park. “The Banks was an embarrassment, and it became a symbol of how Cincinnati couldn’t get anything done right,” Castellini said.
“Now, we’re well beyond that point,” he said. “On big game days, The Banks turns into a sea of red.”
Mayor John Cranley commented that “Cincinnati is on the rise.” Referencing The Banks, he said, “People want to live here. People want to live Downtown.” Cincinnati now has “an amazing wave of urbanism compared to other cities our size.”
Hamilton County Commission Board President Chris Monzel emphasized the strong return on investment already being realized from the public’s initial $75 million in infrastructure improvements. He said that upon completion, the second phase was projected to yield $5 to $7 dollars for every $1 dollar invested. “The Banks is our economic engine for our region,” he said.
Following additional comments from U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio’s 2nd District, all four guest speakers were raised by scissor lifts to pour the first two concrete columns as part of the project’s foundation.
Once Phase II is delivered, The Banks will be about one-third complete.
The Banks will be Cincinnati’s largest single, mixed-use development composed of a dynamic blend of residential, office, hotel and retail components. Phase IA of the riverfront development is complete and includes a revised street grid, parking facility, 300 apartments and 96,000 square feet of retail. In addition to creating a destination where people can live, work and play, The Banks will be the capstone for regional economic growth and urban revitalization. It will drive an estimated $600 million in private investment to Cincinnati’s riverfront and provide a place to live for more than 3,000 residents. Carter and Dawson are the master developers and equity partners. Nicol Investment Company now owns Phase IA of the project and has partnered with the development for Phase II as well. USAA Real Estate Company was the project partner for Phase I. Jeffrey R. Anderson is handling retail leasing for The Banks.