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Timeline 'Tight' To Complete Millennium Hotel Purchase

The Hamilton County administrator plans another update for county commissioners in about two weeks on efforts by The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to purchase the Millennium Hotel in Downtown Cincinnati and replace it with a new facility.
Administrator Jeff Aluotto says a number of professionals are reviewing the potential sale for The Port.  

He said the timeline to get the purchase closed is "tight" and there are a number of milestones to meet that are outside The Port's control.

The Port recently made a $1.3 million earnest money deposit to purchase the Millennium.

The Port acquired the purchase and sale agreement from Oakley-based Vandercar, LLC.

Vandercar had negotiated the purchase agreement earlier this year with the Singapore-based owner of the hotel.

If the purchase is successful, The Port and the developer would then work on a plan to demolish the current Millennium Hotel and build a new one on the site next to the Duke Energy Convention Center.

County and Cincinnati officials and even private developers have been trying for years to get the Millennium owners to upgrade the hotel or sell it. Mayor John Cranley even publicly discouraged people from staying there.

The Port will consider four options:

  • A 600-room standalone hotel on the Millennium site
  • A 600-room hotel and expansion of the convention center onto the Millennium site
  • An 800-room hotel and expansion of the convention center
  • A 1,000-room hotel and expansion of the convention center

The group will also study which flag the proposed hotel would fly. Right now, there are two options: a high-end Hilton Hotel or Signia Hotel. Construction costs and space for both brands will be considered in the financial analysis.
Local leaders have said for years the city is losing out on convention business because of the poor conditions at the Millennium Hotel. They say a new hotel will help the city sell more conventions and benefit other hotels and businesses in the downtown area.

County leaders have suggested that even if the proposal for a new hotel doesn't work, the parties should still consider continuing with the purchase, so the Millennium site is under local control for potential redevelopment.

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.