Major Mixed-Use Projects Gets Moving in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI -- After taking another step back, the Banks project is again moving forward.

“Borrowing the words of a good friend of mine: ‘We are rounding third and heading for home,’" said Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds owner and chairman of the Banks Working Group. He was quoting Reds broadcaster Joe Nuxhall’s famous sign-off phrase.

Two developers announced an agreement in principle Thursday to build the $600 million project on Cincinnati’s riverfront, a week after an earlier partner, AIG Global, dropped out of its agreement with Carter Real Estate.

Residential developer Harold A. Dawson will team up with Carter, which is known for building commercial developments, to build the mixed-use space between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium.

The developers have worked together before on a similar project in downtown Atlanta, and Dawson told News 5 he hopes to build another socially, economically, racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood in Cincinnati.

“Those types of communities are the ones that are sustainable,” Dawson said. “Those are the ones that will be around in 30, 40, 50 years."

The developers said they plan to start marketing the development right away, and Castellini said construction could likely begin in early 2008.

Castellini: Banks Could Break Ground In '08

“We are not going to wait for a signed agreement," said Trent Germano of Carter Real Estate.

The project will include a policy that encourages minority property ownership, and city and county officials will turn over the paperwork to their respective attorneys with an eye on final approval in 60 days.

“Grass isn't going to grow under our feet,” said County Commissioner Todd Portune. “We're going to move very, very quickly.”