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February 12th, 2010 By | News | Posted In: News, Urban Planning

Planning the Casino District

With groundbreaking for a proposed Cincinnati casino less than two months away, a local organization will hold a public forum next week to gather input about what should be built around the gambling site.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati will hold the brainstorming session — known as a “charrette” — on Feb. 20 at the academy, located at 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine.

Jeff Raser of Glaserworks, a downtown architecture and urban design firm, is helping coordinate the event.

Last November, Ohio voters approved a ballot issue that allows one casino each to be built in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. Cincinnati’s casino will be built at Broadway Commons, a sprawling downtown parking lot located where Broadway, Eggleston Avenue, Central Parkway and Reading Road converge across from the Hamilton County Justice Center.

The prime parcel is considered ripe for redevelopment and was once considered as the site for the new Reds stadium.

Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans and owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, will build the local gambling venue. As part of the deal, Gilbert must invest at least $250 million in building the casino.

Groundbreaking is currently scheduled for April, and completion is expected by late 2012.

Charrette organizers say the casino will dramatically affect the urban environment surrounding the facility, and the event is designed to solicit ideas to help it fit in with surrounding neighborhoods.

The charrette will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free but because space is limited, reservations are required. Also, lunch is available for $10. For reservations and to arrange lunch, click here.

For more information, contact the American Institute of Architects’ Cincinnati chapter via e-mail at aiacinti@fuse.net or call 513-421-4661.

Under terms of the constitutional amendment passed by voters, a 33 percent tax will be levied on gross casino revenues and distributed to various sources; 85 percent will be split among every Ohio county and public school district, and 5 percent of annual tax revenues will be split among the four host cities.

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