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Block Of Elm St. To Be Closed For Millennium Hotel Demolition

Bill Rinehart

Elm St. between Fifth and Sixth streets will be closed starting Monday as crews demolish the former Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. The Port is handling that project, and President and CEO Laura Brunner says work to prepare the building for demo has already begun.

"This is going to be the time where things get worse before they get better again," Brunner said. "It's going to be hard to contain, hard to do in a very neat and orderly fashion, but we will do the very best we can."

Workers are removing asbestos floor by floor. Brunner says the Elm Street skywalk is first on the list to come down. Eventually, crews will use cranes and other equipment to remove the 34-story tower and a five-story building on Sixth, and a 24-story tower on Fifth. That work is expected to begin the first week of June.

Full demolition won't be complete for at least another year, and Elm Street will remain closed during the entire project. Sixth Street will be fully closed at some point during the project, as well as periodic lane closures on Fifth and Sixth.

The Millennium Hotel was widely criticized in the years leading up to its closure on Dec. 31, 2019. At one point, Mayor John Cranley publicly discouraged people from staying there, pointing to online reviews calling the hotel "horrible" and the "worst downtown hotel ever," and saying it caused people to have bad experiences in Cincinnati. The site has been vacant since December 2019. A new standalone hotel could replace the Millennium, or be connected to the Duke Convention Center next door.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.