Banks Developer Abandons Project

The major developer for The Banks has pulled out of the 15-acre retail and residential project on the riverfront.

Covington-based, Corporex, made the announcement Monday. Neither the company or Hamilton County leaders would say exactly what prompted the decision, though commissioners suggested Corporex wanted tax payers to front more of the $2 billion needed to build the project.

"We have to balance our desire to get this deal done, with the need to protect tax payers throughout this city and county," Commissioner Phil Heimlich says.

After years of problems getting the project off the ground, commissioners insist this latest hurdle is not a major setback. They say the local public funding is in place and additional federal funding is nearly secure, so attracting another developer should not be too difficult.

"The negotiations, the financing we already have in place have sparked a lot more interest from developers than there ever was before," Commissioner Pat DeWine says.

And the commissioners say they will work with the city to find the right developer. Six months ago, the county outraged some city leaders by making a deal with Corporex without city input. Monday, new mayor Mark Mallory stood alongside the commissioners vowing to work together.

"This is a big project, it's going to take a lot of involvement," Mallory says. "I don't think anybody has any reason to be disappointed [now]."

Still, there is no timetable on how long it will take to find a new developer, or when construction may begin on the project.