Progress report: Q3 2023

The Banks Public Partnership

PHOTOS—Main: The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame welcomed enthusiastic crowds on July 22 for an afternoon of celebration and musical experiences. Photo courtesy of Messer Construction. Upper right: Visitors on opening day of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame enter through the archway at the corner of Elm Street and Mehring Way. Lower right: Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame on July 22, 2023, drew a large audience, including media.

Summertime…and the livin’ was BUSY at The Banks!

  • Public Parties construction of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame concluded, capped by an entertainment-filled ribbon cutting ceremony and the induction of four additional Black music honorees on July 22.
  • Business at The Banks was also fueled this quarter by:
    • Smale Riverfront Park’s hosting Family Fun Days.
    • Cincinnati Reds welcoming fans to Great American Ball Park for a winning season.
    • The Brady Center hosting the Homecoming concert, featuring National.
    • The Celtic Festival’s closing a rainy July weekend with a rainbow.
    • Red Leprechaun announcing its October opening.
    • The FCC Run Walk getting underway along the riverfront.
    • Rockin’ the Roebling concert series wrapping up in September.
    • BetMGM Sportsbook opening at the corner of Second Street and Joe Nuxhall Way.
    • Kroger hosting a two-day Wellness Festival.
    • Cincinnati Bengals playing Monday Night Football at Paycor Stadium in September.

PHOTOS—Left: Homecoming Concert on the Brady Center lawn combines with a September evening’s view of the Roebling Bridge. Center: Fans tailgate in Lot B prior to the Bengals appearance on Monday Night Football in September. Right: Celtic Festival closed with a beautiful rainbow in July.

Project Pillars

Economic Inclusion

Phase I, II, IIIA, IIIB and IIIC Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation 1/1/08 through 9/30/23.

Phase I, II, IIIA and IIIB Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

Goal/participation varied by project, between 4% and 9%.

Money paid to SBE and DBE contractors 1/1/08 through 9/30/23.

Percentage of workforce living within the 26-county Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area*


* Phase I, II, IIIA, IIIB, and VMS Phase II from 1/1/08 through 9/30/23. There are no local residency participation goals for the project.

Combined Minority and Women Workforce Participation 1/1/22 through 9/30/23 for Phase IIIC

Female: 3.6%
Minority: 20.32%


Public Parties construction safety hours for all phases from 1/1/08 through 9/30/23.


The Public Parties project work remained within budget.


All Public Parties work is on schedule for 2023.


Additional Information

Cincinnati Black
Music Walk of Fame

On Saturday, July 22, 2023, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame opened to the public with great fanfare and the induction of four new honorees into the newest tourist attraction at The Banks. Since the April, 2021 news conference announcing the project, to the January, 2022 start of construction, and through the July, 2023 grand opening ceremonies—the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame welcomes visitors daily. The attraction now completes the corner of Mehring Way and Elm Street with an interactive outdoor exhibit appealing to anyone with music in their heart and in their soul. With gratitude to Hamilton County, City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Parks, Procter & Gamble and numerous generous sponsors, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame welcomes everyone to honor the giants of the industry and celebrate their ties to the Cincinnati area and audiences around the globe.

Q2 2021
  • On April 26, 2021, Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece held a news conference to present plans for the newest attraction to be built at The Banks: the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.

  • On July 24, 2021, the inaugural inductees to the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame were announced at a public event held at the Brady Center. Inaugural inductees included Bootsy Collins, The Isley Brothers, Otis Williams, and the late Dr. Charles Fold.

    Q3 2021
  • On January 3, 2022, Prus Construction began site preparation. Actual construction began in February, 2022.

    Q1 2022
  • Workers orchestrate a slab-on-grade concrete pour at the future home of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame (Lot 28).

    Q2 2022
  • Workers finish concrete deck at the Lot 28 site of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.

    Q3 2022
  • Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame 2022 inductees: Pop singer Penny Ford, R&B group Midnight Star, Rapper/Producer Hi-Tek, and jazz guitarist Wilbert Longmire were honored in July at the Brady Music Center.

  • Paver installation underway at the site of Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.

    Q4 2022
  • The Honorable Alicia Reece, President of the Board of Hamilton County Commissioners, welcomed media and other special guests to a news conference and update on construction of Hamilton County’s newest tourist attraction, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame, opening July 22, 2023.

    Q1 2023
  • Signage was placed at the entrance to the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame in June.

    Q2 2023
  • Hamilton County officials, Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame construction team, and contractors cut the ribbon on July 22, 2023. Photo by Mark Bowen/Tom Uhlman.

    Q3 2023
  • The 2023 Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame Inductees: Phillippé Wynne, Louise Shropshire, James Brown, and The Deele.

  • Dedication plaque on the site.

  • A celebratory crowd, clad in all white, forms at the entry to the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame prior to the 2023 Induction of four honorees to a full house at the Brady Center. Photo by Mark Bowen/Tom Uhlman.

  • The Brady Center stage was alive with musical talent in anticipation of the 2023 inductees and the grand opening of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame! Photo by Mark Bowen/Tom Uhlman.

Public Parties

Variable Message Signage Phase III includes a parking guidance system for the Intermodal Transit Center/Central Riverfront Garage, currently in the design phase.


BetMGM SportsBook advertised its location at the corner of Joe Nuxhall Way and East Second Street.

Baseball fans young and old gathered in the DORA to watch “Sandlot” on an August evening.


A family visits the Marian Spencer statue in Smale Riverfront Park.

Kaleidoscope offers an interesting view in the Women’s Garden in Smale Riverfront Park.

Rosenberg Swings are popular on a warm summer day.

Thoughtful way to spend an afternoon on a swing in Smale Riverfront Park.





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Additional Media Information

Further details are available here.
* Impressions equals the number of times users saw the post on (formally Twitter).
‡ Engagements is the total number of times users have interacted with a post, including reposts, replies, follows, and likes.

Before The Banks, a series of narrated videos about what preceded The Banks along the riverfront, published its third and fourth entries in the third quarter.

What’s Next

  1. Implementation of Variable Message Signage Phase III (parking guidance within the Intermodal Transit Facility/Central Riverfront Garage) project will continue.
  2. Red Leprechaun scheduled its opening for early October on West Freedom Way.
From a dream comes the reality: a world-class, interactive music experience for all ages honoring the legacy and contributions of the Cincinnati region’s African American artists who influenced the course of music for our community and our world. Photo courtesy of Messer Construction.

For more information: Phil Beck, AIA, LEED AP Project Executive The Banks Project (513) 946-4434

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