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Developer Would Help Select Banks Concert Venue Site


The Banks Steering Committee meets Tuesday to talk about finding a developer for a concert venue.

Early location speculation centered on an area between Paul Brown Stadium and the Ohio River. Banks counsel Tom Gabelman says there are factors that make that less than ideal, including its distance from the rest of the Banks development.

"What we're looking for is an entertainment venue that would complement but integrate well with the existing facilities that are there and would be integrated with the park as well. We're looking at something also that can serve as an additional activator during those months in which the Reds and the Bengals are not playing, where you don't have as many events at the arena," Gabelman says.

He says the developer that is ultimately selected will help pick the location.

Gabelman anticipates issuing a request for proposals (RFP) by February 1. He says to have construction starting in 2018, and completion in 2019, he would expect a developer would need to be selected by April 15.

The private capital investment would be between $12 and 25 million. Public investment for infrastructure would be between $5 and 7 million depending on the location.

Gabelman says a concert venue could draw between 250,000 and 350,000 a year, with 140 to 180 events.

Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune says while there's a lot of talk about a specific developer for a concert venue, "No decisions have been made relative to that. It would be completely inaccurate to suggest that any one aspect of the development of a music venue that has one developer in the lead." Portune says the decisions about the development will be made transparently.

The Banks project does not have a master developer. Gabelman says at a Banks steering committee meeting Tuesday, he expects the issuance of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on February 1.