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'Do We Need A Music Venue At The Banks?': Hilltop Talks Continue With No Deal In Sight

A rendering of the proposed music venue at The Banks.
A rendering of the proposed music venue at The Banks.

Disagreements continue between Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials about proposals to relocate a concrete plant on the riverfront to make space for a music venue at The Banks.

The city is being asked to swap land along the Mill Creek to allow Hilltop Basic Resources to relocate to Queensgate.  

City Manager Patrick Duhaney addressed an eight-page memo issued Friday discussing administration concerns. He spoke during a City Council committee meeting Monday.

"Faced with such significant unknowns and uncertainties, normally the administration would still be at a stage of gathering and vetting the necessary information to determine if it's feasible and/or prudent to move forward with the project," Duhaney said. "Today with all these issues unresolved, we are not in a place where we the administration would think it's appropriate to move forward recommending approval and/or asking council for their approval to execute on this proposal."

The administration report highlighted issues like property condition, financial feasibility, project impacts, and policy implications.  

County officials responded Monday with a report, fact sheets and charts of their own. They're aiming to ease concerns addressed in the city manager's report.

Resident Jordan Odor told the committee more work is needed before Hilltop potentially relocates from the riverfront to Queensgate.

"We need an honest study of the traffic, the environmental impacts of this decision, and we would like an honest representation of the size and character of the materials on the site at this location," Odor said. "What would this really be like for West siders who experience this every day?"

Council Member Chris Seelbach said it's a complex deal, and he even wonders if a music venue will work on the city's riverfront.

"Do we want and need a music venue at The Banks?" Seelbach said. "And I don't know that the answer to that question is yes. You know we did decide to go with CSO/MEMI, but Promowest has already broken ground on a competing music venue in Northern Kentucky. Can two very similar venues survive? I don't know the answer to that, but I think it might be no."

Many City Council members are asking for clarity about what they're being asked to do as both sides continue to argue.  

City officials will prepare yet another report outlining areas where the city and county agree and what disagreements remain.

Relocating the Hilltop facility is essential to the plans for the music venue at The Banks. The music facility will take parking spaces now used by the Bengals on game days for tailgating. Hamilton County agreed to purchase the Hilltop land and turn that into parking for the Bengals. But that means the concrete plant must move.

 

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