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Planning For The Future Of The Banks

Ann Thompson
(from left) Robert Castellini, Tom Gableman and others discuss development at The Banks.

The Joint Banks Steering Committee has voted to find a developer for a new entertainment venue. In addition, the committee also has put out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a possible master developer for the remaining undeveloped 15 acres of the Banks.

At a Tuesday meeting at Great American Ball Park, the County's Tom Gableman said an entertainment venue would require $12-25 million in private investment and $5-7 million in public infrastructure investment. The annual regional economic impact is projected to be $25 million.

The committee hopes to select an entertainment venue developer by April 15, 2018.

A master developer could be picked by June. But committee member Charlie Luken cautions a master developer might tie the hands of the city and county. Fellow member Steve Leeper expressed similar concerns saying, "I just want to make sure I don't have to say 'Mother may I.'"

City and County teams will review the RFP and RFQ requests before they become final.

The committee is also working toward making navigation of downtown easier for bigger events. Banks executive Phil Beck got the go ahead to continue with Phases II and III of variable messaging signs. The signs will tell you the best exit, based on traffic, for your big downtown event and then direct you to a specific parking space.

Beck also demonstrated a virtual tour of downtown, soon to be on this website.