Todd Portune wants to see more activity on the Banks. The Hamilton County Commission President doesn't just mean more people and business, but more participation in the development.
The Banks project is a joint agreement between the county and Cincinnati. Work has stalled since the main developer left last year. Portune says the city and county need to re-assert themselves.
"I think we've got to bring the Banks and the future of the Banks up close, up front and public… There's been far too little public discussion over the past 12 months if not longer about what the future of the Banks is."
Portune says there are things that can be built without a master developer, including an indoor-outdoor concert venue. He says the county, the city and the public all need to participate in the discussion. He says that conversation starts with a clear idea of what's what.
"Individuals who have made the commitment at the Banks, made the investment, will understand that they're not out there on an island. Instead there is a lot going on, a lot that will be going on, a lot that we can accomplish and will accomplish."
In addition to losing the master developer, there's been a number of restaurants that have closed since Phase 1 opened in 2011. The county administrator plans to give commissioners an update on Banks progress at the next staff meeting, January 22.