The Banks Phase II Groundbreaking: “Cincinnati on the Rise”

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.

CBS Atlanta Offers Street-Level Tour of Carter Project

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013

The Banks, Carter's Mixed-Use & Amenity-Rich Project in Cincinnati 
is Profiled for New Stadium Development

CBS Atlanta traveled to Cincinnati last week to take an in-depth look at Carter’s premier mixed-use development, The Banks, after it was announced that the Atlanta Braves would be moving from their current home in the City of Atlanta to a new field in nearby Cobb County. The Banks was featured as a best-in-class example of multi-use development in the surrounding area of new stadiums.

Larry Smith, Sports Director for CBS Atlanta, reported from The Banks, “It’s a really neat, multi-use, year-round complex that’s part of the revitalization of the riverfront area in Cincinnati on land that lies between two pro stadiums – Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium.” He went on to say that "the area between the Reds and Bengals stadiums sat empty for years...until Atlanta-based Carter had the vision and the courage to make a multi-use dream come true."

Libby Korosec, Carter’s spokesperson and PR representative for The Banks, was interviewed on-site: “We’ve got apartments that overlook our ‘Main Street’, if you will, and we have our retailers facing ‘Main Street’ which adds a great deal of activity. We have a nice walking environment, but you can drive. We want [visitors] to get out and really experience The Banks, so we’ve made it very pedestrian friendly.” She also said it took a developer like Carter that was "willing to be innovative".

The Banks is the first development of its kind in Cincinnati and benefits locals and visitors alike. It was made possible through a working partnership between the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, The Banks Public Partnership; Carter played a key advisory role in the development and worked hand-in-hand with this public-private partnership. In addition to creating a notable business district and vibrant entertainment area around two major sports stadiums, The Banks proves to serve as a catalyst for economic growth and will continue to revitalize Cincinnati.

More coverage from CBS Atlanta, “A look at a similar project to what the Braves hope for in 2017”, included an interview with Paul Goebel, the restaurant owner of Holy Grail Tavern & Grille, one of the most popular destinations for Cincinnati Reds & Bengals fans on game day. Last spring, Carter posted a video on its YouTube channel here, showcasing the success of Opening Day among all its street-level vendors.

The retail portion of Phase IA of The Banks is currently 91 percent leased, with only one space available for occupancy. The residential portion of Phase IA of The Banks is 100 percent leased and occupied. Phase IA at The Banks has created more than 3,600 net new permanent jobs and has already attracted new national retailers and residents to Cincinnati. It is estimated that Phase IA will generate an on-going annual economic impact of $91 million.

Construction on Phase II will begin this year. Read previous blog posts on The Banks here.

Check out our fast-paced video of street-level multi-family and retail between the two stadiums in Cincinnati on Carter's YouTube channel, here.

Hard Knocks at The Banks

Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013

HBO’s Show on NFL Teams Filmed at Carter’s Development in Cincinnati

Current at The Banks is now Carter’s newest TV star. The development was recently filmed and aired on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, as the show followed the Cincinnati Bengals as they prepared for their upcoming football season. The Banks makes its debut in Episode 1, where Head Coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals kick off training camp at Paul Brown Stadium, adjacent to The Banks.

Above: Giovani on his balcony overlooking Paul Brown Stadium

Giovani Bernard, a Current at The Banks resident and Bengals running back, is shown in the show writing love notes to his girlfriend and training to become one of the team's most important weapons. Mike Brown, owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, says, "He's going to give us a lot of spark."

Above: On the balcony, overlooking Smale Park, Giovani talks to other residents at the pool below

Upon seeing his new apartment for the first time, Giovani says, “This is perfect. This is my new home in Cincinnati. I’m super excited.” He walks over to the balcony and gives a “who dey!” to the pool patrons below, who respond enthusiastically.

Above: Residents relax at the pool at Current at The Banks

Current at The Banks Sales Manager, Leslie Gieske, was present while the show was filming. “We got a great response from residents. In fact, I think residents were on ‘the look out’ for camera crews,” she said. “A large portion of our community is not from Cincinnati originally, but even they were excited to see what was going on in their neighborhood. I think it created a few new Bengals fans. You never know when you could see one of your favorite Bengal players walking out the front door of our building followed by a few cameramen.”

The Banks has been a popular place for Bengal players, as several others opened an Orange Leaf frozen yogurt store last year. According to Cincy Jungle, those Bengals players are: Frostee Rucker (former defensive end) along with Robert Geathers (defensive end), Kevin Huber (punter) and Pat Sims (former defensive tackle).

For more news on The Banks, including the recently announced Phase II, click here

The Banks, Phase IIA

Posted on Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Banks’ master development team of Carter and The Dawson Company, the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County announced yesterday that the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will be considering the next phase of The Banks Project. Phase IIA of The Banks project will be a 9-story building spanning a full city block. It will have 305, one- and two-bedroom apartments and approximately 21,000 square feet of space for retail.

Renderings from architect The Preston Partnership

Yesterday, City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee considered the proposed amendments to The Banks Master Development Agreement with respect to the commencement of Phase IIA of the development. The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners will review the matter at its August 21, 2013 board meeting. 

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported, “The $65 million project will be ‘in a finished state’ in time for Major League Baseball’s 2015 All-Star Game at nearby Great American Ball Park and will be ready for residents in the fall that year.” Other news to pick up the announcement include KY Post, Cincinnati Business Courier and FOX19.

Construction on Phase IIA is slated to begin this December and be completed in fall of 2015. As part of the overall funding and financing structure, the City and County will grant a tax abatement on the residential portion of Phase IIA which has a value of approximately $12.9 million over 15 years.

“Phase II will provide additional opportunities to live, work and play at The Banks,” said Scott Stringer, executive vice president at Carter. “Construction of our second phase will attract new retail tenants, business clientele, families and young professionals to the development.”

The retail portion of Phase IA of The Banks project is now 91 percent leased, with only one space still available for occupancy. The residential portion of Phase IA, Current at The Banks, is 100 percent leased and occupied.

Phase IA at The Banks has create more than 3,600 net new permanent jobs and has already attracted new national retailers and residents to Cincinnati, with a combined (public/private) construction economic impact of $574 million.

For more information on The Banks, including leasing inquiries, visit The Banks website. Read more Carter blog posts on The Banks, here.

Another Award for The Banks

Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Infrastructure on Carter’s Mixed-Use Project in Cincinnati’s Wins Award of Excellence

In yet another accolade for Carter’s mixed-use project, The Banks, the Central Riverfront Garage recently won the award of excellence for “Best Design of a Parking Facility for More than 800 Spaces”. The garage system, controlled by Hamilton County, will serve the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals professional sports franchises while also providing ample parking for future office towers and retail shopping. Carter provided project management services for Phase I of the project, including managing the design and construction for infrastructure, which included parking decks and roadway.

The two-level Central Riverfront Garage forms the base for Cincinnati's new $600 million, mixed-use project, The Banks. Strategically located adjacent to Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium, in addition to several well-placed public transportation lines, the concrete garage efficiently and sustainably addresses a wide range of parking needs. Central Riverfront Garage includes valet parking and accepts credit cards through an electronic payment system.

According to The International Parking Institute, “Central Riverfront Garage will include a police substation, passive security system, ample lighting, glass-enclosed stairways and dedicated pedestrian walkways ensure the maximum levels of safety. Sustainability and durability provisions include recycled demolished materials, HOV spaces, variable-speed fans and electronic payment incentives.”

The Banks received the 2012 Impact Award from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky chapter of NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties; Carter developed and delivered the $82 million first phase and is working behind the scenes on Phase II.  In addition, the American Planning Association (APA) awarded Cincinnati’s riverfront the 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation and the National Recreation, and Park Association (RFPA) recognized Smale Riverfront Park on a national level with its 2013 National Facility/Park Design Awards. 

Central Riverfront Garage’s 5,500 parking spaces will make it one of the nation's largest underground facilities. Also among the largest underground parking facilities is Atlantic Station in Atlanta, where Carter provided project management services and acted as the Development Manager for a majority of the project vertical development of office/retail, and is currently headquartered.

Other parking design competition winners include: an energy-efficient parking; a progressive university tailgate lot at the; a repurposed European market; and four new restored parking facilities that support economic development and are re-energize downtown areas.

Read more about Carter’s work on Phase II of The Banks, here

Transforming the Riverfront

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013

Phase II of The Banks

The Banks has played a major role in transforming downtown Cincinnati's riverfront, and there is still more to come, as construction on Phase II hopes to commence later this year. Libby Korosec, spokeswoman for The Banks, told the Business Courier that the $67 million second phase will include 300 apartment units and 60,000-square-foot of street-level retail spacce.

In a recent article in the Business Courier's Core Strength insert written by Carter's Laura Swadel, she noted the public-private investment in The Banks has already given the city a return. The first phase created more than $91 million a year in economic impact in the city and county. Upon completion, the total economic impact is anticipated to be more than $276 million annually. Additionally, Swadel stated that once completed, The Banks is expected to create more than 1,400 direct jobs, as well as an additional 1,000 indirect jobs.

"While the economics are important, what's just as impressive is how The Banks helps to affect the region's psyche and mindset," Swadel said. "The Banks, combined with other important downtown developments and initiatives, has helped to bring back a vibrant and thriving downtown Cincinnati. It's a place where people want to be, visit and stay."

Phase II of The Banks is slated for completion in 2015. The Banks will ultimately include a mixture of up to 1,800 residential units, 400 hotel rooms, 1 million square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail space. Stay tuned next week for an upcoming guest blog from Cincinnati spokesperson and public relations professional Libby Korosec about her work at The Banks.
For more information on The Banks, check out a previous blog post.

Baseball Stadiums Drive Housing Costs

Posted on Thursday, April 04, 2013

Photo from The Atlantic Cities

The Atlantic Cities recently examined how living near a stadium can drive the cost of housing. The article looked at home prices from the past year in neighborhoods within a mile or two of each stadium.
For die-hard baseball fans, the decision to live near the stadium of their favorite team is a no-brainer. Projects such Carter’s The Banks, located near the Cincinnati Reds stadium, have been thriving.
Current at The Banks, the 300-unit apartment building that was delivered in the first phase of The Banks mixed-use development, is fully leased with several people on a waiting list. Given the strength of the project, Carter plans to break ground on Phase II in 2013, which will include an additional 300 apartment units.
Despite cold weather on Opening Day, WVXU reported that thousands of fans turned out to enjoy the restaurants and bars at The Banks and partake in the second annual Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party. Check out the Cincinnati Enquirer’s slideshow of photos from Opening Day parties at The Banks.  
Click here to read our blog post about Opening Day at The Banks.

The Banks Scores on Opening Day

Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2013

 Carter’s Mixed-Use Project In Downtown Cincinnati is a Homerun

The 2013 baseball season has officially begun, and the Great American Ballpark was bustling Monday as 42,000 fans crowded into the home of the Cincinnati Reds to be a part of the 137th Reds Opening Day. Many of those fans flooded downtown Cincinnati to tailgate and watch the first crack of the bat as the Reds took on the Los Angeles Angels for the season opener. Carter’s The Banks mixed-use development was the place to meet up with friends, grab a bite to eat and hang out.

"The popularity and success of The Banks shows the importance of public-private partnerships in today's economy," says Jim Shelton, vice chairman of Carter. "The Banks has been a landmark project for Carter, and we're proud to be part of such a successful development that is inextricably linked to America's national pastime."

Several bars and restaurants had lines out the door, including Yard House, the newest addition to The Banks. Jimmy John’s also opened recently, and Jefferson Social, a restaurant that serves Mexican street food, will open later this summer during the peak of baseball season. The Cincinnati Enquirer captured the opening day action, including fans dancing in the street during the second annual Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party. The Banks anticipates another strong crowd for tomorrow’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Angels.

"The Banks' vision of being a great place for people to live work and play is turning into reality,” said a spokesperson for The Banks. “We're pleased that we've become such an integral part of one of Cincinnati's proudest traditions - Opening Day. Thousands of people enjoyed what The Banks had to offer as the Reds started the season and we look forward to many more Opening Days.”

Tenants prepared for the rush by taking measures such as having extra staff on hand and making sure that additional food and beverages were available. Tin Roof manager Hill Hodges told Fox 19 that the restaurant even brought in support trucks in the back stocked with extra beer. This was the first opening day for several restaurants, including Tin Roof, Mahogany's and CRAVE, all of which opened last fall. Additionally, Ruth's Chris Steak House opened in October and Wine Guy Bistro relaunched as WG Kitchen & Bar in March.

“Virtually all of the tenants at The Banks were reporting record sales yesterday and were excited for the start of the season,” said Mark Fallon, retail broker for The Banks. “Truly a proud moment for Cincinnatians as they have seen their riverfront turn into a world-class destination.”

As a result of several new retailers coming on board, The Banks has now reached 91 percent occupancy. Additionally, since Opening Day of last year, even more residents have continued moving in to the downtown riverfront development. Current at The Banks, the 300-unit luxury apartment complex situated atop street-level retail, is now 100 percent leased.

In the fourth quarter of this year, Carter plans to break ground on Phase II of The Banks, which will include 300 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of retail. Click here to read a previous blog post. Check out Carter’s YouTube page to see a video of the opening day action.

Major Media Coverage In Cincinnati

Posted on Friday, March 15, 2013

Press Covers Both Carter and The Banks

Carter and The Banks have made several appearances in the Cincinnati press this week in both print and television outlets, including WCPO and Fox 19. Scott Stringer, executive vice president of Carter, and Laura Swadel, vice president of Carter, recently visited Cincinnati to discuss the project, where the apartments from the first phase are fully leased and the retail space is 92 percent leased. 

During the next couple of weeks, two new restaurants – Yardhouse and Jimmy John's – are scheduled to open. "We are excited to add two more great concepts to The Banks as we round out the retail on The Banks," Swadel said. "We have one signature spot left and we continue to look for the right special addition to the mix." Jefferson Social, a restaurant that serves Mexican street food, will also open later this summer.

Ruth's Chris Steak House opened it's 135th high-end restaurant at The Banks in October. In March WG Kitchen & Bar opened, which the Cincinnati Enquirer said filled a much needed spot at The Banks as it is, "…nicer and more sophisticated than the sports/country bars, not as expensive as Ruth’s Chris, more low-key than Crave."

Carter plans to break ground on the second phase this summer, which will include 300 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of retail space, according to

The Banks and Horseshoe Casino, which is also located on the riverfront, have plans to work together in the future. A recent article pointed out that on opening day in late February, The Banks and Hamilton County partnered with Horseshoe Casino to offer free parking on the riverfront and shuttles between the two venues.
It was also announced recently that an un-named developer will develop a 200-room, 10- to 12-story hotel across from the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, south of Holy Grail Tavern & Grille. The hotel, which will take approximately 14 months to complete, is scheduled to open by July 2015, in time for the 2015 All-Star Game, according an article in the Business Courier.

Check out our previous blog post to learn more about The Banks.

Two Carter Projects Highlighted in Columbus Dispatch

Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Last month we featured a video blog update on construction at Highpoint on Columbus Commons. This week, we'd like to take a closer look at the simultaneous rebirth of Ohio’s three biggest cities. As reported in a Columbus Dispatch article on February 5, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland have all experienced momentous booms, and Carter has proudly been at the helm of two of the largest developments spurring such recovery in Cincinnati and Columbus.

The $50 million Highpoint on Columbus Commons will bring 301 apartments and 23,000 square feet of retail space to the downtown area. Carter is developing the project along with local partners Bob Weiler and Don Kelley. “Highpoint on Columbus Commons will create a new style of upscale urban living in downtown Columbus,” said Conor McNally, chief development officer for Carter. “We are excited to be working on this project, which will continue to help revitalize the area.” Click here to read a previous blog post about the project.

In Cincinnati, Carter plans to break ground on the second phase of The Banks in the summer of 2013, including 300 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of retail space.  “Phase II of The Banks shows our continued dedication to Cincinnati and spurring economic recovery in downtown,” said Laura Swadel, vice president of Carter. “The fact that we were able to get this project off the ground in the midst of a recession is truly amazing.”  To learn more about The Banks, click here.