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What's Delaying Construction Of Banks Music Venue?

Hilltop Resources is proposing a land swap with the city of Cincinnati to relocate its facilities, now located next to Paul Brown Stadium. Areas in green would go to the city, and the 10 to 14 acres in yellow would go to Hilltop.
Hilltop Resources
Hilltop Basic Resources in May proposed a land swap with the city. Hilltop proposed areas in green would go to the city and the 10-14 acres in yellow would go to Hilltop, but the city rejected that offer.

Construction on the parking garages to support what could be a music venue at The Banks begins in August. But the future of the actual venue east of Paul Brown Stadium depends on relocating Hilltop Basic Resources, west of the stadium.  

The Bengals agreed to let parking lots currently used for tailgating be turned into garages in exchange for new lots on the Hilltop site.  

But right now, there's no plan in place to relocate the concrete facility.  

The company was looking at sites in Lower Price Hill and Queensgate.  

Some residents didn't like that idea, and Cincinnati City Council in April responded by implementing a development control overlay district, or IDC, for that area for three months.

On Wednesday it extended that IDC for another nine months, which places an additional level of city planning commission review on any proposed projects.  

Mayor John Cranley was supportive.

"The IDC makes sure that the neighborhood will continue to have an influence over what is proposed and what is or is not adopted going forward," Cranley said.

The mayor wants more public input on the proposal.

"That there be a public hearing, either in Lower Price Hill or East Price Hill, in July and that the company, Hilltop, at a minimum but also presumably the county, come to the neighborhood and explain what it is that they are proposing to do," Cranley said.

Hilltop had proposed buying 10 acres of riverfront land now owned by the city near the Brent Spence Bridge in Queensgate as a compromise.  

But the city declined that offer because it's leased to another company.  

The city, county and Hilltop have until next June to find a new site.  The county and Bengals signed an agreement last week stating the new parking on the current Hilltop site will be available for use at the beginning of the 2021 NFL season.  

If not, the county could be responsible for making reimbursement payments to the team that were spelled out in the team's original stadium lease with the county.  The Bengals had agreed to forgo those payments if it had access to the additional parking on the Hilltop site.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.