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.
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.