New concert venue moves ahead at The Banks

New concert venue moves ahead at The Banks
AC Hotel Cincinnati officially opened at the Banks Friday October 27, 2017. The European style hotel is located at 135 Joe Nuxhall Way just across from Great American Ball Park. (Cara Owsley/The Enquirer)

Cincinnati Enquirer - The Banks is planning to break ground on a long-discussed concert venue, which current tenants cheered as a fresh draw that would generate much-need foot traffic.

"That would be fantastic for business,'' said Jean-Francois Flechet who owns Taste of Belgium at The Banks.

Our news partners at The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the concert venue operators would bring to Cincinnati has already been developed in Columbus and Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh, Stage AE is next to Heinz Field near the Allegheny River. PromoWest's prototype venue in Columbus, the LC Pavilion, is near Nationwide Arena and less than a half-mile walk from the Scioto River.

Boost for The Banks:

Taste of Belgium's Flechet among several restaurant operators who said recently that their restaurants haven't performed up to expectations largely because of the lack of foot traffic in the area just east of Paul Brown Stadium on Freedom Way.

According to Hamilton County's State Capital Grant Funding Application for 2018-2019, a lot just south of the football stadium has been targeted as the development site for multi-million dollar performance pavilion and event center expected to attract 350,000-plus visitors a year.

Tom Gabelman, an attorney representing the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners on The Banks, said a final location has not yet been determined.

'"There are a number of locations within The Banks under consideration,'' Gableman said in an email Wednesday.

He said the locations under consideration do not include the vacant city-sized block known as Lot 24 that stretches from Freedom Way south nearly to Mehring Way that was formerly planned as the last phase of construction for the 18-acre riverfront development.

Concert venue 'the key thing':

Bill Donabedian, who founded the Buckle Up and Bunbury music festivals and is a longtime proponent of a concert venue at The Banks, said the new facility could be the missing link that propels The Banks to new heights.

"I've been screaming from the rooftops now for a long time about how I I think a live music venue is the key thing to have at The Banks,'' Donabedian told The Enquirer. "Think about the parking revenue, tax revenue and the nearly 400,000 additional people throughout the year coming down there to help those businesses that are struggling.''

Donabedian sold his controlling share of the Bunbury festival to Columbus-based PromoWest Productions, which will operate the new music venue at The Banks, the company confirmed in an email to the Enquirer on Wednesday.

"They are more qualified than any other group to do this successfully because they've already done it in a similar market,'' Donabedian said, referring to the highly successful Stage AE indoor/outdoor entertainment complex PromoWest operates in Pittsburgh.