Author Topic: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks  (Read 1440954 times)

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Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8785 on: January 06, 2017, 12:40:04 PM »
The developer will never lower the rent just to fill the place up.  Otherwise there could be a vape shop and other random stuff.   

Offline GCrites80s

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8786 on: January 06, 2017, 01:16:48 PM »
^H&R Block

Offline Brutus_buckeye

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8787 on: January 06, 2017, 01:40:32 PM »
^Don't be knocking Vape Shops. They are key components to any retail strip center in Middletown. At least I have seen that first hand.

Offline GCrites80s

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8788 on: January 06, 2017, 02:13:14 PM »
Well, they also have all of those out-of-control U-turns there. Such a lawless place

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8789 on: February 23, 2017, 01:13:29 AM »
Sunday Feb 19, 2017:



























Offline Yves Behar

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8790 on: February 23, 2017, 09:17:24 AM »
Man, The Banks is such a bummer. That thing looks worse than a Ramada.

Offline jim uber

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8791 on: February 23, 2017, 10:14:19 AM »
^ Yeah, but you're just dying to get to Pies and Pints. ;-)

Offline TraderJake

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8792 on: February 24, 2017, 06:05:32 PM »
To me the building looks straight out of DC. It screams height limit (or in DC's case, Height Act, see all boxes / rectangles in DC)
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Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8793 on: February 25, 2017, 04:02:53 AM »
That area looks much better now with a building in that space.  But I'm not sure how good it's going to look from the Schmidlapp Event Lawn.  You'll still be able to see the plain back side of the part of the building facing Freedom Way. 

Offline Cincy513

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8794 on: February 26, 2017, 10:49:11 AM »
That hotel has looked the same for the last couple of months. They must be doing a lot of work inside the building. No chance they are open by Reds opening day which was my hope when they first started construction.

Offline Cincy513

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8795 on: February 26, 2017, 11:20:02 AM »
Man, The Banks is such a bummer. That thing looks worse than a Ramada.
It might be a bummer to some of you sit at home architects but its grown to be a very successful area. The bars have been crowded almost every weekend this winter when previous years those were dead months. Moerlein and yard house always have a good lunch, happy hour and dinner crowd. Taste of Belgium and pies and pints seem to be doing very well despite being somewhat isolated from the rest of the area. Even howl at the moon/splitsville has been a huge improvement over Toby Keith's. GE has brought close to two thousand workers to the area every weekday and the hotel will add even more everyday people. They need to get started on the next phase to continue this momentum. Hopefully burgerfi or tiger dumplings or both will be open late night. That's the big thing they're missing with all the bar traffic down there every weekend. Either that or let food trucks park on the street.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8796 on: February 26, 2017, 12:42:04 PM »
Yeah getting at least *some* steady daytime business has no doubt helped these restaurants.  If each is doing just $250 more per weekday ($5,000/mo) due to GE being there it makes a pretty profound difference for businesses that weren't getting almost any lunch business in the past. 

Offline Civvik

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8797 on: February 26, 2017, 12:44:08 PM »
Man, The Banks is such a bummer. That thing looks worse than a Ramada.
It might be a bummer to some of you sit at home architects but its grown to be a very successful area. The bars have been crowded almost every weekend this winter when previous years those were dead months. Moerlein and yard house always have a good lunch, happy hour and dinner crowd. Taste of Belgium and pies and pints seem to be doing very well despite being somewhat isolated from the rest of the area. Even howl at the moon/splitsville has been a huge improvement over Toby Keith's. GE has brought close to two thousand workers to the area every weekday and the hotel will add even more everyday people. They need to get started on the next phase to continue this momentum. Hopefully burgerfi or tiger dumplings or both will be open late night. That's the big thing they're missing with all the bar traffic down there every weekend. Either that or let food trucks park on the street.

A lot of these readers are actual architects.  ;)
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Offline jmicha

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8798 on: February 26, 2017, 03:28:55 PM »
Man, The Banks is such a bummer. That thing looks worse than a Ramada.
It might be a bummer to some of you sit at home architects but its grown to be a very successful area.

I'm actually a, "sit at an office and do my job as an architect" architect and I also think it's a bummer. The area might finally be seeing some financial stability which is awesome, but the architecture is extremely lacking. And it's hurt even further by being directly next to Smale which features incredibly high quality design work.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8799 on: February 26, 2017, 05:31:50 PM »
Originally there were going to be a handful of town homes facing the Schmidlapp event lawn.  I think it's going to be important to sell off at least a few 20-foot wide lots for single-family homes because the whole feel of the place right now is too super-blocky.  Hamiton County could sell off what remains of the "Yard House" block into about 26 20x80 lots.  If they get $250k for each lot that's $6.5 million they can put back into future Banks infrastructure.   

Offline taestell

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8800 on: February 26, 2017, 05:39:36 PM »
The original concept was to slope down from the office buildings along 2nd Street to mid-rise apartments to low-rise townhomes facing Smale Park, but this was based on an irrational fear of density at The Banks. I don't think it was ever a good idea and I don't believe that very many people would want to live in a townhome located at The Banks. If you want the privacy of a townhome why would you want it plopped in an area where you are surrounded by constant Bengals and Reds games; Smale Park crowds all spring, summer, and fall; and periodic street closures for big events like Oktoberfest? I think we would be much better served by more mid and high rise apartment buildings down there. I don't love the low-rise restaurant pads but I also think it's a reasonable compromise so that the Freedom Center doesn't have their view totally blocked.
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Offline thebillshark

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8801 on: February 26, 2017, 07:08:38 PM »
Question for Phase 3 (south of the new apartments and GE building.) is it possible that the built footprint of whatever comes next could extend farther south than the parking garage infrastructure that is in place? If a hillside is built in that south lot up against the parking garage, could something be built on top of it? (I know that the garage is to lift the building out of the floodplain)

Offline jwulsin

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8802 on: February 26, 2017, 10:11:00 PM »
Question for Phase 3 (south of the new apartments and GE building.) is it possible that the built footprint of whatever comes next could extend farther south than the parking garage infrastructure that is in place? If a hillside is built in that south lot up against the parking garage, could something be built on top of it? (I know that the garage is to lift the building out of the floodplain)

My understanding is that that triangular space is intended to be more park space... but I really hope the plan can be modified to use that space for more buildings. Like Travis said, I don't think townhouses make sense at The Banks, but I would love to see some smaller parcels built by separate developers so that we don't just have monolithic full-block developments. A well-designed, triangular building could some much-needed visual interest to the area. Smale is a great park, and we don't need more green space right across Mehring Way. The most important thing for The Banks is to add more density (residents, office).

Offline seicer

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8803 on: February 26, 2017, 11:54:18 PM »
I would say that the Banks is a success in terms of apartment occupancy. There is a waiting list.

For businesses? It's a mixed bag. There have been a lot of spectacular closures (Mahogany's, that one country bar and grille that I can't think the name of) and some quieter exits. GE's entrance will help.

Architecturally? It's very generic, partially because of its sheer scale and how it was developed in block-long parcels, and because of the quality of design. It's no Arena District in Columbus, with full brick exteriors and matching windows to give the neighborhood a high-quality appearance. It's more on par with what is going up in Oakley in the land of Big Boxes - the best bang for the buck, with cheap vinyl windows, cheap exterior finishes and cheap interiors. It's no better than Gateway I at Walnut/Central Parkway that has had significant issues with its exterior construction.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8804 on: February 27, 2017, 02:09:17 AM »
The Freedom Center ended up as the centerpiece of the banks by complete accident.  It was just lucky timing -- the concept for a "freedom center" started sometime in the mid-90s at the same time The Banks concept was formulated.  They were the first entity of any kind to express interest in locating there and there was basically no way to not give them the center square since there was no competition.  If the zoo had been looking to do an aquarium or the CAC was interested in a riverfront location one of those might have ended up there instead, and we wouldn't have the lingering idea that it needs a "view" to the river.  As-is that lawn has no purpose and is probably the most valuable piece of easily developable land owned by Hamilton County. 

There need to be more owners of buildings in The Banks and some buildings need to be small.  A cockamamie storefront church would be more interesting than anything that is there now. 

Offline seicer

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8805 on: February 27, 2017, 07:04:45 AM »
I liked the church that was built at Liberty Center - and its mixed use elements. It seems to be better executed than the Banks, although it still has huge blocks. Easton, The Greene, and Liberty Center (along with the downtown Huntington, W.Va. Pullman Square) was all done by Steiner + Associates and I regard their work to be high quality, and I would have loved to have seen their vision for The Banks.

I had concerns about the Freedom Center being too big and going all-in when it had essentially no presence in the city prior. My fears came true when the museum floundered but it has since found solid footing by partnering (or being absorbed?) by the Museum Center.

Offline neilworms

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8806 on: February 28, 2017, 10:29:34 AM »
Didn't help that the museum had a racist smear campaign by the enquirer either.  Local Cincinnatians hate the place but non natives highly recommend it.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8807 on: February 28, 2017, 11:02:08 AM »
^Well I don't hesitate to speculate that the smear campaign originated in the fact that the freedom center was handed the single most-valuable piece of property in the region.  When The Banks was being planned 1998-1999, the economy was roaring.  No doubt that developers expected to quickly build whatever they wanted above garages built with public funds and that block was going to be the most valuable block.   But the whole thing failed to launch because of the dot-com bust and 2001 recession.  Hamilton County's sales tax receipts had grown at a 3% clip for decades, then growth suddenly halted.  The stadium debt expected 3% sales tax growth so those obligations ate into everything else.  Since 2000 the sales tax receipts have only grown at an average of 1.5% or something like that (in part because of the low inflation rate), which is why they've never been able to sell the bonds and build all of the garages at once and then put development rights out for bid.  Instead it's been one block every 3-4 years.   

The public felt burnt because after all of the hype there wasn't anything down there except the freedom center for 10 years.  If The Banks plan had formulated in the early 90s the whole thing would have been close to completion by the time the recession hit and we entered our current era of ultra-low inflation. 

Offline Civvik

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8808 on: February 28, 2017, 12:18:15 PM »
I liked the church that was built at Liberty Center - and its mixed use elements. It seems to be better executed than the Banks, although it still has huge blocks. Easton, The Greene, and Liberty Center (along with the downtown Huntington, W.Va. Pullman Square) was all done by Steiner + Associates and I regard their work to be high quality, and I would have loved to have seen their vision for The Banks.

I had concerns about the Freedom Center being too big and going all-in when it had essentially no presence in the city prior. My fears came true when the museum floundered but it has since found solid footing by partnering (or being absorbed?) by the Museum Center.

Liberty Center turned out great, larger geographic context notwithstanding.

If you're a fan of Steiner, follow this project in Orlando. It's the first one they're doing that fits into the context of a regional master plan, instead of just nice urban design floating in a sprawl void.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2016/05/exclusive-tavistock-signs-town-center-pioneer-for.html


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Offline GCrites80s

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8809 on: February 28, 2017, 12:31:17 PM »
I remember that one single-thread user in the Liberty Center thread thinking we were complaining about its layout and design. No... we were railing on its remote location as compared to their other work.

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8810 on: February 28, 2017, 12:48:12 PM »
^Well I don't hesitate to speculate that the smear campaign originated in the fact that the freedom center was handed the single most-valuable piece of property in the region.  When The Banks was being planned 1998-1999, the economy was roaring.  No doubt that developers expected to quickly build whatever they wanted above garages built with public funds and that block was going to be the most valuable block.   But the whole thing failed to launch because of the dot-com bust and 2001 recession.  Hamilton County's sales tax receipts had grown at a 3% clip for decades, then growth suddenly halted.  The stadium debt expected 3% sales tax growth so those obligations ate into everything else.  Since 2000 the sales tax receipts have only grown at an average of 1.5% or something like that (in part because of the low inflation rate), which is why they've never been able to sell the bonds and build all of the garages at once and then put development rights out for bid.  Instead it's been one block every 3-4 years.   

The public felt burnt because after all of the hype there wasn't anything down there except the freedom center for 10 years.  If The Banks plan had formulated in the early 90s the whole thing would have been close to completion by the time the recession hit and we entered our current era of ultra-low inflation. 



Also, a lot of R's hate it when NGOs or the public sector get done first on a project since they feel that the mere presence of those type of orgs that early on will doom any commercial activity that might develop. They aren't completely wrong... shopping centers know that if they want to keep things high-end and browse-oriented (rather than referral-based) they have to keep out the karate dojos, tax offices, dialysis facilities and churches. But now the churches are so big and have such large congregations, tons of money and meet so many times a week that they're not troublesome anymore. Whereas they still don't want the 40-member ones that put up their sign with mailbox letters.

Offline seicer

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8811 on: February 28, 2017, 01:00:43 PM »
Plus, they all go out and eat after Mass (or etc.) is over. That's a huge bonanza for the restaurants down there - or the nearby Bob Evans.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8812 on: February 28, 2017, 02:01:20 PM »
I was unaware of the nationwide phenomenon of the Wednesday night church group until I worked as a bus boy at Frisch's in high school.  Those people were god-awful.  They'd come in 12-14-16 strong, use a book full of coupons, then leave a $4 tip.  You often get double that driving a calzone and six wings to a stoner. 


Offline taestell

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8813 on: March 05, 2017, 01:49:38 PM »
I know the leasing agents at The Banks are trying to avoid chains (i.e., rejecting Starbucks), but they should just give in an add a Cheesecake Factory. It would kill! I'd even stop by on occasion!
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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8814 on: March 05, 2017, 01:51:44 PM »
Originally there were going to be a handful of town homes facing the Schmidlapp event lawn.  I think it's going to be important to sell off at least a few 20-foot wide lots for single-family homes because the whole feel of the place right now is too super-blocky.  Hamiton County could sell off what remains of the "Yard House" block into about 26 20x80 lots.  If they get $250k for each lot that's $6.5 million they can put back into future Banks infrastructure.   



The Banks' website shows some nondescript space where the townhomes were originally going to be located. Perhaps it will be the hotel's fitness center or conference rooms.
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Offline Cygnus

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8815 on: March 14, 2017, 12:27:02 PM »
I've seen no announcement but BurgerFi appears to be open.
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Offline ucgrady

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8816 on: March 20, 2017, 04:57:37 PM »
They have begun placing the exterior cladding on the AC hotel at the banks. I was really hoping this would stand out as a more contemporary and different material from it's neighbors, like something you would see in LA with a bit more gloss to it. It appears to be stone, but it kind of just looks like concrete so far.

Offline Yves Behar

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8817 on: March 21, 2017, 09:10:06 AM »
Looks like they found a use for those old drop ceiling tiles.

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8818 on: March 21, 2017, 01:45:29 PM »
I know the leasing agents at The Banks are trying to avoid chains (i.e., rejecting Starbucks), but they should just give in an add a Cheesecake Factory. It would kill! I'd even stop by on occasion!

They rejected Starbucks? I'm not a fan, but it seems like that would be a good move to have someone like them there.
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Offline ryanlammi

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Re: Cincinnati: Downtown: The Banks
« Reply #8819 on: March 21, 2017, 02:37:50 PM »
^Apparently it violated the lease agreement from Taste of Belgium or something (I could be making this up, but I believe I heard it)? Not totally sure. I heard it was because ToB had some exclusivity agreement regarding coffee. That makes no sense in my mind, because I wouldn't think of ToB as a place to pick up coffee to go, but whatever.
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