Catching Up On The Banks

Anyone interested in an insider’s view about the status of The Banks project, Cincinnati’s proposed downtown development along the Ohio River, should tune into WVXU (91.7 FM) on Monday.

News Director Maryanne Zeleznik will interview three members of The Banks Working Group, the advisory panel created by Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials to quicken the pace of the long-delayed project. Panel members participating are Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds co-owner; local attorney Tom Gabelman; and Tim Riordan, a former city administrator and consultant.

Proposed in 1999, The Banks is envisioned as a mix of condominiums, offices and shops between the Reds and Bengals stadiums. The project has stalled over funding and jurisdictional issues, particularly who will pay for $68 million in parking garages needed to lift the development area above the flood plain. County sales tax revenues were supposed to pay for the garages but are far below initial projections.

About $200 million in taxpayer money is expected to be included in any financing plan for The Banks, which has an estimated price tag of more than $800 million.

Unlike many of her counterparts in commercial TV and radio, Zeleznik is known for providing context on local issues and asking in-depth questions. Her news special will air Monday at 9:20 a.m. and 7:20 p.m. on WVXU, and via a live streaming audio feed on

— Kevin Osborne

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5 Comments on “Catching Up On The Banks”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    gabelman isn’t even legally allowed to be on this panel unless it is only an administrative position aiding the panel because no person appointed to the panel can receive any compensation whatsoever – even free tickets to a game – and be avoting member of the group. his compensation is illegal or his vote is illegal ( conflict of interest) he can’t have it both ways. gabelman needs to go or go without “reasonable and customary expenses” similarly paid to the other members of the group/panel

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Where’s Phil?

    From today’s Post:

    There were lots of people at a Hamilton County jail task force meeting Thursday – just not the county commission president.

    Phil Heimlich skipped Thursday’s meeting, a roundtable represented by county law enforcement professionals, county agencies, City of Cincinnati officials and community groups.

    Commissioner Pat DeWine, who has advocated a rival jail plan to Heimlich’s, did attend. The third commissioner, Todd Portune, was also absent, citing a prior commitment chairing the solid waste management board, but he supports the task force’s efforts and hopes to be at future meetings of the group.

    …While that was going on, Heimlich worked a few feet away in his office – on the other side of the wall – purposefully not attending the meeting though organizers had made a name card for him and left him a space at the conference table.

  3. Peter Deane Says:

    Anon said “Gabelman isn’t even legally allowed to be on this panel unless it is only an administrative position aiding the panel because no person appointed to the panel can receive any compensation whatsoever.”

    Anon can you please give more info on this because I do not understand how or what the problem is with Gableman receiveing compensation. And who or what corp is paying him?

  4. Peter Deane Says:


    I tried to find Castellini’s email but couldn’t get it. Is there any way you can send this to him?

    Open Letter to Mr. Castellini

    From: Peter Deane

    Dear Mr. Castellini,

    Today, I heard you on WVXU and I would like to say that I really enjoyed the positive take on it all. I also was happy to hear that Mr. Love is working on minority and labor inclusion. I was also pleased that minority inclusion is also being looked into for those that will be laboring. But I do believe that there needs to a representative from labor on the five member committee, make it a sixth member, make sure that she’s a minority… see you kill three birds with one stone and everyone is happy including me.

    I know that you have a direct vested interest in The Banks project. You are the owner of the Reds and I’m sure that you are looking to clean up your front yard. I do not believe in gambling our future taxes on this project. That I would like to make clear. I believe that private investment should be the major part of the funding for the banks. After we got taken to the bank on building the stadiums — The trust is just not there. And Gableman doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The County is not paying for the parking garages. The 35 million that you are looking to pay for the garages for the condos should be paid for by the condo owners. And not through the use of TIFF financing. I need a new driveway and the County isn’t giving me one.

    Now, I think that we all can help with this. If it’s money you need I think that I know how I can help. As a citizen of Hamilton County I am going to do my part to make sure that private investment will go into The Banks and maybe even make a buck to get that new driveway I need. And you can help!

    Here’s How:

    I’ve invented this great hotdog salt. Man, you sprinkle this on a hot dog that has a pickle and it just awesome. I’m going to give you the recipe, we’ll call it Cincinnati Red Hot Dog Salt. And then we’ll sell it at the stadium. And once we get people using the hot dog salt at the stadium, then we’ll sell it at every Kroger in the area. I’ll split the profit with you 50/50. But first we’ll take 25% of the total profit and put it into developing the banks. We’ll have our own account for it and then when we have enough money we’ll build you your shops, stores, and condos. But til then we’ll just build the parking garages and put a big central park on it. In the park we’ll put fountains and a track, maybe even a skateboard park and some basketball hoops… hey we can even put a baseball field out there. Every year the Reds could play one game on it…. Free to everyone. We’ll even sell hotdogs there with the salt! Think about it… rose gardens, vegetable gardens, trees, bushes, lovers sprawled out in each others arms on the soft grass. Kayakers and canoers shoving off shore. What are we waiting for? Call me or email me at


    Peter Deane

    P.S. I have another way to help. I have a book on called Finding Bellarmine. Every book I sell I put a nickel in the wishing well that will be in the park too.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    i’m not anon but i posted that comment about gabelman.
    he is a paid employee of the county and supposedly is being paid for his time on the panel. that is illegal. noone is allowed to be paid for their time on a panel. but it is customary for the government body to have an administrative representative on all panels who facilitates works for the group and is paid for their time. but they should never be a voting member on a volunteer panel if they are being paid. generally, unacceptable.
    personally, i think castinelli needs to recuse himself from alot of voting issues as he has a conflict of interest, but…

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