Hamilton County Approves Alternate Plan To Keep Banks Music Venue Moving Forward

Oct 8, 2019

The Hamilton County Commission approved an alternate plan Tuesday that will allow a music venue to be built at The Banks without moving a riverfront concrete company.

The county will eventually purchase the 17-acre Hilltop Basic Resources site, west of Paul Brown Stadium, for about $30 million. The company will temporarily consolidate its operations on half of the site, and then the county will use the other half for greenspace that will accommodate Bengals parking and tailgating during games.

The $30 million covers the land purchase price, and the cost to eventually relocate the company.

The first purchase of about seven acres will be completed by Jan. 1 and turned into greenspace by next summer.  

The second and third parcels would likely come in Jan. 2021 once Hilltop finds a new location for its operations.

Hamilton County needs to replace surface parking for the Bengals in order to build the music venue on parking lots just east of the stadium.

"This is a good deal for the taxpayers," said County Commission President Denise Driehaus in a statement. "The music venue moves forward without delay. We have taken steps to resolve the parking challenges at The Banks, and all of it is made possible by the Bengals' foregoing $30 million in game day payments."

That $30 million is being used to fund the purchase of the Hilltop site.

Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas said the agreement is "simple and straight forward."

"Instead of an overly complicated land swap, this agreement resolves the conflicts between the city and the county and allows development to move forward for the community," Summerow Dumas said.

The county wanted to relocate Hilltop to Queensgate or Lower Price Hill. But Cincinnati officials objected, and last week City Council voted on a motion to oppose the company's move to those two neighborhoods.

The county's alternate plan will not involve any action from the city and will allow the music venue to move forward.

Construction on that facility is scheduled to begin next month and be completed in fall 2020. It will have seating for 4,500 inside and 8,500 on greenspace outside the venue.

County officials said the music venue is needed to support businesses located at The Banks. They also said the agreement reached with the Bengals last year to allow it construction and relocate parking will save the county money.

City officials have said if the deal will save taxpayers money, release details of how it will do that and how much.