COUMBUS (TDB) -- State officials are expected to approve a $5.48 million loan to Hamilton County for a parking, bus and commuter train structure on the Ohio River that will be topped by The Banks. Ohio plans to formally approve a 15-year loan for a portion of the $75.7 million transit center financial package when the state Controlling Board meets on Monday. State records describe the loan as "intended to leverage public transportation improvements to stimulate private investment by providing a podium structure that supports a mixed-use development including residential, office, hotel and retail space in a formerly blighted area."
Of the $75.7 million total for the "podium structure," records show $4 million will come from a private developer. The other $71.7 million is from public funds.
There has to be a "podium" because the site is low-lying real estate in the river's floodplain. And the so-called "blighted area" is about 18 acres on the downtown riverfront. It is the spot where Riverfront Stadium used to stand until it was demolished and replaced by new football and baseball stadiums for the Bengals and Reds. The loan documents are before the Controlling Board, which is scheduled to vote on the deal October 29. Information about The Banks is here.
The Controlling Board agenda is here, and item 26 relates to The Banks. The loan request says:
"The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) financing assistance represents 7.2 percent of the total investment of $75,771,718 at the project site. Job creation is not a requirement of this program. The project includes the development and the construction of a two-story intermodal transit and parking structure along the river bank in downtown Cincinnati."
"The ODOD will have a shared mortgage position on real estate included in the above project, which will be located in the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County. This project will facilitate the development of a new community of retail, office and residential units on a former Brownfield site on the Cincinnati, Ohio riverfront. This project will help position the city for new development and revitalization in the downtown area."