The addition of General Electric and its at least 1,400 employees will provide a massive boost to retail and restaurant business in downtown Cincinnati, especially at the Banks.
Mark Fallon, vice president at Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc. and the retail listing agent for the Banks, said the addition of GE’s office workers is just as, if not more important, than additional residential development at the Banks.
“It’s a coup,” Fallon told me. “It will be a huge traffic generator for everything downtown. It’s getting to the vision of what the Banks is supposed to be.”
He’s working on three retail deals for the second phase of the Banks. Fallon said adding GE to the riverfront development will very likely push those deals over the finish line.
The Banks retail space is already 93 percent leased in the first phase, with one restaurant pad and one other space remaining. Current tenants include Holy Grail, Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill, Crave, Ruth’s Chris, Jefferson Social, WG Kitchen & Bistro, Johnny Rockets, Jimmy John’s, Tin Roof, Mahogany’s, Orange Leaf and Yard House.
The addition of GE won’t change the tenant mix Anderson is working on at the Banks, except for the possible addition of more service retailers. The restaurants will continue to be the big draw.
“The Banks will become their home base for lunch and for dinner and drinks after work,” Fallon said. “They’ve already parked, they don’t have to move their car. It’s a huge coup. There are great restaurants and entertainment steps from their office.”
The impact will go beyond restaurants and retail, as well as across Fort Washington Way into the Central Business District.
“It’s also great for the apartments,” Fallon said. “These employees can be living in the new apartments, or the existing ones, literally across the street from where you work.”
It’s likely the apartments at the Banks won’t be the only ones that see a boost in potential renters.
“It’s going to transfer to more people living downtown. It will have an exponential effect,” Fallon said.
“It’s really solidifying phase 2, I can’t downplay the importance.”