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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Cincinnati Joins Mixed-Use Trend With $1B Plan

  • MLS club looks to advance large-scale development adjacent to stadium
  • Ohio city planning significant revamp of west side of downtown
Sam Greene & Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yet another major American city is jumping on to the mixed-use sports development trend. 

As a quickly growing set of locales such as Atlanta, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver have embraced the strategy of putting pro sports facilities at the core of urban revitalization efforts, Cincinnati is now looking at a similar project.

On Friday, FC Cincinnati — which currently ranks fifth in MLS league attendance this year — will pitch the Cincinnati Planning Commission on a mixed-use complex adjacent to the club’s TQL Stadium that would include a concert venue, hotel, restaurants, apartments, and office space. 

The 8.5-acre project is projected to cost between $250 million and $300 million, and if approved, will go before the City Council toward a projected 2026 opening. But it’s only part of more than $1 billion in proposed development along the west side of Cincinnati’s downtown, some of which could also include a new arena.

Demolition efforts on the FC Cincinnati property started early this year, but the latest step marks a key inflection point for the project.

FC Cincinnati also has some high-powered partners with the proposed project, as it is working with Marquee Development, which is controlled by the Ricketts family, who also own the Chicago Cubs and have redeveloped the Wrigley Field area. 

Bengals In The Mix?

For now, the city’s building efforts leave out the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. 

The team is currently completing $20 million in upgrades for the 23-year-old Paycor Stadium, but those efforts are only the start of a larger conversation. The Bengals and Ohio’s Hamilton County are in the midst of talks over the future of the publicly owned facility following the 2026 end of the current lease.

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