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Negotiations Continue For Banks Music Venue

The Banks Public Private Partnership
MEMI submitted this rendering as part of the winning bid to develop the music venue.

County Commissioner Todd Portune says the plan is still to have a music venue open at The Banks by the end of 2019. He admits that it won't be easy, but says the county is still pushing.

Commissioners have approved a developer and a location for the indoor/outdoor facility, but Cincinnati council has yet to sign on to the site, and one neighbor gets to have a say.

"We continue to talk with the Bengals about a variety of issues," Portune says. "Largely taking advantage of this intersection of the development of the music venue with other elements in the lease agreement between the county and the Bengals that merit revisitation."

The commission president says that includes looking beyond 2026, when the team's lease at Paul Brown Stadium ends.

In August, commissioners chose three lots -- 23, 27 and 28 -- as the site for the music venue, but the Bengals preferred lot 24, which is a little farther away from the stadium. In June, the county selected the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's subsidiary, MEMI to design, develop and operate the facility.

The Banks is a joint development between Cincinnati and Hamilton County. While the city hasn't approved the location, Portune doesn't seem worried. "It really is largely in our hands, because of the responsibility that the county has in terms of the funding of all this. We expect to build at lots 23, 27 and 28, and we are not planning for anywhere else."

Portune isn't so sure about when construction will start. He says there is a lot of design, engineering and architectural work that has to happen before groundbreaking.