About The Banks
Love is decidedly in the air along Cincinnati’s waterfront. A city-defining transformation is in full bloom. The scope is nothing less than monumental. The ambition nothing short of historic. And the response? Immediate and overwhelming. The Banks has already changed the way the world sees Cincy – both inside and out. It’s where the community is coming together and coming to life like never before. An emerging renaissance of vibrant places to live. Spectacular places to dine and shop. Impeccable modern and efficient places to work. An energetic entertainment destination to cheer on your team. And so much more on the way. The Banks is an electrifying cityscape, buzzing and bustling with thousands of people reigniting their passion, by day and night, for the City we all love. Downtown Cincy will never be the same. One visit and neither will you.
The Banks serves as the welcoming front door to the Cincinnati business district, the stage for downtown’s skyline, and the heart of the majestic riverfront. It is part and parcel of a Riverfront strategic development plan that was originally unveiled in the 1990’s. The Banks has long been envisioned as a marquee, mixed use development that incorporates residential units, office space, dining, leisure and entertainment venues. The Banks is intended to be a gathering place for people across the region, providing a variety of attractions that promote public enjoyment and appreciation for Cincinnati’s riverfront.
The Banks is a gathering place for people across the region, providing a lively atmosphere full of attractions that promote public enjoyment and appreciation for Cincinnati’s riverfront. Spanning the full width of the Central Business District, The Banks brings the waterfront to downtown’s front door. Thriving off of the energy generated by the adjacent professional sports venues, Paul Brown Stadium to the west and Great American Ballpark to the east, The Banks provides life and energy as a true live, work, and play district.The Banks is a multi-phase, mixed-use project, which was conceptualized by a Master Plan , approved by the City and the County in 2007. The Master Plan includes approximately 200,000 -1,000,000 square feet of office, 200,000 – 400,000 square feet of retail, 200,000-400,000 square feet of hotel and 1,000,000– 1,800,000 square feet of residential. It is anticipated to be completed in multiple phases over a ten to fifteen year period.
This live, work, play destination has become the capstone for regional economic growth and urban revitalization, driving an estimated $1 billion annual impact to the region’s economy, creating a market for downtown residents, and attracting headquarters for major corporations such as GE to the development.
GE’s U.S. Global
At full build-out, The Banks will include 1,800 residential space units, 400 hotel rooms, 1 million square feet of office space and more than 400,000 square feet of retail. Phase I and Phase II of the project were delivered to resounding success.
The project was made possible by a commitment from The Banks Public Partnership, a partnership between the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. By leveraging local, county, regional, state and federal resources, the partnership was able to provide the public infrastructure necessary to allow for private development.
Originally the epicenter of freight rail for the western portion of the United States, Cincinnati’s downtown riverfront area has always been central to its identity and image. In the later portion of the 20th century – like so many urban cores around the United States – Cincinnati’s Central Business District experienced a period of population decline and a slowdown in commercial growth.
Signaling a commitment to transform the urban riverfront of downtown Cincinnati into a vibrant and sustainable gateway to Southern Ohio, a public-private partnership was formed between Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati in conjunction with the State of Ohio. And, in 1997, a new Cincinnati Central Riverfront Master Plan was approved. Following the plan’s approval, the city welcomed the new Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals), Great American Ball Park (home of the Cincinnati Reds) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to the riverfront area.
Next, the city and county set their sights on the development of the remaining 18 acres of undeveloped riverfront land between the two sports stadiums. In 2007, Atlanta-based companies, Carter & The Dawson Company, were selected in a joint venture for the master development to create a dynamic urban mixed-use project and to develop this vision into a reality. Serving as a catalyst, The City of Cincinnati partnered with Hamilton County, once again, to provide infrastructure for the site, including an intermodal transit facility, parking garages, street grid improvements, and utilities. The City of Cincinnati also provided funding for the 45-acre Riverfront Park. As the world’s financial systems entered the Great Recession in late 2008, The Banks team broke ground on phase one, adding 300 luxury apartments and street-level retail that completed and opened in 2011.
Building upon the success of phase one, the public-private partnership continued the momentum by breaking ground on the second phase in early 2014. Continuing with an assortment of uses, phase two consists of luxury apartments, dining establishments, Class A office space, and additional parking. Located just west of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, phase two of The Banks is nearing completion. In preparation for this continued private development, The City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County completed the next segment of the underground, public parking facility, a two level parking facility which provides the raised platform for The Banks development, and creates an enormous parking facility extending over seven city blocks. Phase two spans a full city block from Race Street to Rosa parks, and from Second Street to Freedom Way. In total, phase two will be home to a 292-unit, nine-story, luxury apartment community, 19,000 square feet of ground-level retail, and a 337,000 square foot, class A office building. The apartments and retail were completed in April 2016, and the office building is scheduled to be completed in September.
The Banks development is a central element of downtown Cincinnati’s riverfront revitalization, and has fulfilled the goal of becoming a catalytic economic engine. Spurred by $157 million in public infrastructure improvements, the private joint venture team has invested more than $162 million in phase one, and $69 million in phase two, . Bringing new money to Cincinnati through the purchase of local goods and services and hiring local workers, the operating impact of The Banks is a critical component to Cincinnati’s success. Upon completion, the annual economic impact from phase one and two of The Banks is projected to be over $1.2 billion.