Banks Project Looking For New Master Developer

Jul 20, 2017

Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati are parting ways with the developer responsible for building out the first two phases of the Banks project.

Atlanta-based Carter & Associates has led the redevelopment of the Cincinnati riverfront since 2007.

The Joint Banks Steering Committee will soon begin looking for a new master developer. Hamilton County attorney Tom Gableman says he hopes says he hopes to have a list of criteria for a new developer and put it out for requests for qualifications within 30 days.

WVXU media partner WCPO reports Carter missed, or chose to miss, a deadline earlier this year to begin work on Phase III, resulting in a $500,000 fine. WCPO further reports that fine was on top of a $250,000 fee the developer paid last year to extend the start date.

Gableman confirms to WVXU that Carter did not "pull the trigger" on any kind of construction plans or pay another extension fee by a May 23, 2017 deadline. However, he says Thursday's decision to cut ties with the company was not driven by that May 23 deadline.

The $2.7 billion project is being built out in multiple phases including retail, housing, and business. Gableman reports the Banks economic impact totals $1 billion, including 5,000 permanent jobs.

Gableman says he's looking forward to seeing what prospective master developers will envision for the project's future phases. He says about one million square feet are complete with another two million square feet to go.

He says the city and county's agreement with Carter will be a good building block for future agreements.

"Once a dustbowl between the stadiums, The Banks is now a place where people want to live, work and play," says Bob Castellini, Joint Banks Steering Committee Chairman. "We thank Carter for their 10 years of service and dedication to the project. Without Carter as a member of the team, The Banks would not be where it is today."