Tenants pack the apartments. Trendy restaurants fill the street level space. But there is no office space yet at the Banks, which was originally envisioned as a place where people could live, eat, shop and go to work.
The Banks’ new project chief, Phil Beck, says the vision remains the same.
Carter and the Dawson Company, the master developers of the Banks, soon are expected to put a concrete roof on the garage and begin building the second phase of the Banks on the west side of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The second phase, like the first, will have a pad built for office space.
“They’re trying to find tenants to get this built. I think when you can offer more of a campus, it’s beneficial,” Beck said. “It’s absolutely still the vision. That catchphrase – work, live, play – is still the catchphrase.
“Carter – they want this to be long-term successful. To a certain degree, it’s worth finding the right fit, and sometimes it takes time to work that out.”
Beck, a 27-year veteran in construction and project management and a 14-year veteran of the Navy Civil Engineering Corps, took over the project from John Deatrick, who is now project executive for Cincinnati’s streetcar project.
He arrived in Cincinnati in 2000 and has worked on nearly all of downtown’s major infrastructure projects during that period, including Great American Ball Park, Government Square, phase 1 of the Banks and the Smale Riverfront Park Carousel building.
Before moving to Cincinnati, Beck lived in San Francisco, where he worked on a subway expansion project and the construction of a new international terminal at San Francisco International Airport.
Beck has both built big things and blown them up.
“Spending 12 months planning for 34 seconds imploding Cinergy (Field), that was an experience. It was a fascinating project,” he said. “Being able to build the ballpark for your childhood team – that was a huge thrill.”
Beck’s family lives in Indiana and his wife is from Cincinnati. He decided to put roots down here because it’s a good place to raise a family.
“Our kids get to go to school with our cousins. It’s very cool,” he said.