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Port To Purchase Two Downtown Parking Garages

downtown cincinnati
Michael E. Keating/WVXU
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Two parking garages north of the Duke Energy Convention Center will soon be under new ownership and new management. The Port is buying the garages at 609 Elm and 605 Plum with an eye on nearby development.

Gail Paul, vice president for communication strategy, says the Port will buy the two garages from LAZ Parking Realty Investors for $25.2 million. The board of directors approved the purchase at a Wednesday morning meeting.

"The Port considers these garages to be strategic assets for us. We look for real estate to acquire that needs some kind of improvement, that we can make more productive," Paul says. "And really add to a long term strategy to hold them for future development in that part of Downtown."

Once the deal is finalized, she says the Port will spend $1.5 million on improvements on the two garages and will contract with SP Plus to operate them. Operations will continue during renovations.

Paul says the purchase fits with the Port's mission of encouraging economic development. "We believe it's a really good fit. As a public partner we have a civic interest in operating the garages and being part of any conversation about additional development in that part of Downtown."

She says the Port is already a financial partner in the plans to build a mixed use tower with a parking garage at 4th and Race.