Construction Could Start Next Year On New Office Tower At The Banks

Aug 25, 2020

Construction is expected to begin next spring or summer on a 17-story office tower at The Banks. 

Cincinnati, Hamilton County and Lincoln Property Company have reached a development agreement on the $92.5 million proposal. 

It will be built just east of the Freedom Center on an existing pad at Second and Marian Spencer Way (Walnut Street). 

The 370,000-square foot building will be on what's known as Lot 26, next to Planet Fitness. That pad was part of the first phase of The Banks project. The design is nearly twice the minimum build required for that lot.

The county's outside attorney for The Banks, Tom Gableman, said it should be completed in 2023.

"They do have three tenants, which would take it up in terms of pre-leasing to a little in excess of 50% ... which is very positive," Gableman said.

Discussions about the project started in 2018. 

Once complete, the office tower could have 1,400 to 1,600 employees. The actual construction project is estimated to create 600 jobs.

"We did our economic impact study, fairly conservatively, but this is going to put another $700 million a year into our regional economy when this building comes on," Gableman said.

The city and county are not offering tax abatements or cash for the office tower, which is somewhat unusual for an economic development project. 

It's expected to generate $2 million in new property tax revenue.

It will also generate additional tax increment financing (TIF) which can be used to pay for new infrastructure, like parking garages and streets, needed to finish out The Banks. That could total about $57 million over a 30-year period.

The county commission could approve the documents needed to advance the project Thursday. Gableman said Cincinnati officials believe they can execute the city's portion of the plan without additional approval from city council.