Retail, offices, residences and location, location, location! The Banks will have it all!
With a formal ground breaking in April 2008, the underground parking garages were underway to accommodate over 3,300 parking spaces. Today, The Banks offers luxurious apartments and an attraction for bar goers, with more hopping attractions to come.
Rain or shine, construction workers have worked tirelessly on this big project. With a nearly finished phase 1A of the process, they continue to work hard in order to make available more options for some more summer fun.
"It remains to be seen of when certain establishments will open," says Libby Korosec, Public Relations Lead for The Banks.
There are plans in place for a phase 1B, which includes an office tower on the East side of downtown. Also included in this phase is a hotel and homeownership residential areas. These establishments would then complete this phase and allow the workers to begin constructing in the West side of downtown, which would include a few phases of its own as well.
Not too long ago, downtown Cincinnati welcomed Paul Brown Stadium, home to the Cincinnati Bengals, Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. With an 18-acre piece of land simply sitting vacant between the two stadiums, the city set out to plan development in that empty space. According to The Banks’ Web site, "the team would create one of the nation’s preeminent urban ‘Live, Work, Play’ destinations."
Today when you visit The Banks, you see the near-completion of phase 1A, which includes 300 deluxe apartments along with about 80,000 square feet of retail space. But before you get excited, "retail" does not mean cute boutiques, ladies! In this sense of retail, the developers are referring to the entertainment and restaurant business.
Already open at The Banks are new hang out spots to go to with your friends. A popular spot to grab a cold beverage this summer may be the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail Tavern & Grille had its first debut when they opened on St. Patrick’s Day this year.
It already made a name for itself as the sports fan’s home for the Reds, Bengals and Cyclones. It is perfectly located 100 yards from home plate in Great American Ballpark, making it easily accessible to have a victory drink to celebrate a hometown win (or wash down a difficult-to-swallow loss).
So what else can you expect to attract you to The Banks? Five other leases have been signed with retail establishments, which plan to open late summer or perhaps early fall; hopefully before the temperature drops! The biggest and first of those to sign is one of The Banks signature restaurants: Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.
"Toby Keith has five or six restaurants across the country, but nothing within a 250-mile radius of us," Korosec says.
The bar and grill will have live music up to six nights a week in their famous guitar-shaped bar along with popular dishes. However, the real highlight of this new establishment are the bands who tour across the country and visit all of the Toby Keith restaurants.
Johnny Rockets has also signed a lease, but it will be quite different from the one across the river at Newport on the Levee. Instead of Newport’s sit-down family restaurant ambiance, Johnny Rockets at The Banks will feature more of a sports bar concept.
If you want a taste of the Big Easy in the Queen City, check out Huey’s 24/7 Diner, which is a typical diner open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Stop in for a bite and treat your taste buds to a Louisiana cookin’ kick.
Need a good glass of wine and relaxed environment to wind down? You’ll want to visit the Wine Loft. There, you’ll find wine served in a chic setting with dim lighting, soft music and intimate seating in an elegant atmosphere.
Need a unique date idea? La Crepe Nanou is a romantic French bistro featuring traditional French fare. Stop by for a taste of France without the cost of a plane ticket.
The City of Cincinnati Police Department has also signed a lease. This building will house all of the downtown special events’ officers. With this placement of the department in The Banks, they have intentions of being more interactive with the public and more welcoming to the area.
Once complete, The Banks will add eight city blocks of new development to the downtown area. It is also expected that approximately $600-$800 million in private investment will occur at the project site over the course of the development.
"Overall, we believe it will drive an estimated $600 million in private investment to the riverfront," Korosec says. "And we believe when all is said and done, it could provide a place to live for more than 3,000 residents."
The Banks won’t just attract Cincinnatians, either. The attractions are aiming to reel in both locals and tourists. "We want folks from the region to experience it and we expect those who come in from out of town to see a Reds game or a Bengals game experience The Banks as well," Korosec says.
So, now you know what The Banks have in store for you – for this summer and beyond. "You just kind of have to stay tuned and see how they go with their construction schedule," Korosec says. Click here to learn more about Cincinnati’s new options for "live, work and play" at The Banks.
First Photo: Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Emily Berg, Kerry Jabour Francis
Courtesy of The Banks Public Relations