Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building "The Banks."

- A group gathers for a construction tour of The Banks.

I took up an invitation from the folks at Carter-Dawson to see the current progress on The Banks, the development currently rising between the two stadiums on Cincinnati's riverfront. Upon completion, the complex will have nearly 300 apartments in phase 1 and feature a wide variety of retail and dining options. There's even room for an office tower to be built as well as a hotel. The development will be surrounded by Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium, downtown and the new Central Riverfront Park.

The project had been a concept since 1997, but didn't have a finalized master plan until 2007. Since the groundbreaking in 2008, construction has continued at a feverish pace. Even those attending Reds opening day today will notice a stark difference in the riverfront from the end of last baseball season. Currently, one tenant is up an running: The Holy Grail Bar and Grill.

- A look inside one of the apartment display models.

- View from a corner apartment. The streetcar will eventually pass directly below, before heading North on Main.

- Live right across from GABP and right on the streetcar line, if only I had the cash...

- Banks Balcony view over Main St.

- Apartment construction.

- What will eventually be filled with pedestrian traffic and street level retail.

- The tour group in front of GABP.

- Rooftop pool under construction.

- View from one of the top level apartments.

- Touring a penthouse.

- View looking West.

My friend Ryan, who came along on the tour, saw the view towards Paul Brown Stadium and remarked: "If you're a Bengals fan, what more could you ask for?"
"A decent team," I replied.

The amount of progress along the Riverfront is staggering, it's great seeing it all come together. Throw in Phase 2, the office building, the hotel, the streetcar, put the Riverfront Transit Center into use and the riverfront will be in good shape. A renaissance is rising in downtown.

Update | Oct. 18, 2017:
  • The Banks still isn't fully built out, but everything seen here is active. Tenants still seem to come and go, but the development is still growing. 


  1. Doubtless, the Bud Lite supply is keeping things moving along smoothly.
    Are those streets open enough for a lone ped to go down & look around?

  2. That two-level retail space shown in your first photograph is going to be amazing. It could be something really cool like a flagship location for a local place like Skyline Chili, LaRossa's or Joseph Beth Booksellers. Or it could be a premier location for a national chain like H&M, Zara or something else. I'm excited to see what goes in there.

  3. Quim,

    I would have assumed the same thing. Even as much as I dislike Bud Lite, it would be a good work motivator. Unfortunately, the street through the retail corridor is still blocked on both sides by fences.


    They said they were in "talks" with various people, but that was all they would say. I think your idea of a flagship is awesome. What about a Hard Rock Cafe or ESPN Zone type of thing? I'm not much for those places, but tourists and burbanites love them. If Louisville can have a Hard Rock Cafe, surely we can!

  4. Unfortunately ESPN Zones are now dead. They closed down all over the country aside from a few locations. I'm also not sure of any expansion plans for Hard Rock Cafe. These types of businesses have been killed over the past five or so years. Planet Hollywood is completely gone as well.

  5. I would LOVE it if a Zara or H&M was put there. There are Zara's all over DC and I miss them so much from when they went there.

    That's what I'm hoping happens at the Banks - some really cool retailers!

  6. Isnt the two story space in the photo where Toby Keith's is going?

  7. No, it is my understanding that the two-level space is adjacent to the Toby Keith bar space.

  8. Yeah, Toby Keith's is going in mid-block.

  9. Toby Keith's space is in the middle of the block on 2nd Street. The two-story building is on the corner of Walnut & Freedom Way.

    I overheard Trent Germano say "Ann Taylor" but I believe it was jokingly...

  10. Great shots! Can you give an idea on how big that pool is? It looks incredibly small for an apartment complex of this size- I believe that pool is expected to be used by residents of both buildings and the hotel, yes?

    Is it just the photo or is it really like clown-car small?


  11. I would find it HIGHLY unlikely that a hotel and private residences would share a common pool. The hotel has yet-to-be constructed, so I would bet that once it is built that they will include a pool for their hotel guests that is not open to the public or shared with private residences nearby.