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Cincinnati: Downtown: Convention Center / Hotel

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15 minutes ago, lobanio0 said:

 

The main takeaway is that there are preliminary renders from the developer showing integration and expansion of the Convention Center on this parcel with the hotel. 

 

The expansion would close Elm street between 5th and 6th. 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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It will essentially be a more modern version of what is there from a height perspective. 30 Stores on top of a convention hall. May be a bit taller, but it will not add a new building to the skyline, maybe some height, but it will make it look more modern, which is not a bad thing.

 

Personally, I am not a fan of closing off Elm. You will kill any potential street life on 6th and North and you are dividing the CBD into 2 separate areas. If you are living on say 7th and Elm, it makes it does not make it appealing to live there and say walk to PBS or a business on West Fourth. It cuts off the CBD from city Hall. If you were staying at the Hyatt as a visitor and you wanted to walk to St. Peter in Chains, it makes it more difficult. It makes it harder to develop office/apartment/street retail in the NW quadrant of downtown with this expansion.

 

I don't know a better option, (personally I would go over 6th, but probably much more expensive) but that is the main issue I have going that direction.

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Just a general question, but is the concern of, "lack of activation" still present even if you add mixed use development with hundreds/thousands of new residence in the surrounding area?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, troeros said:

Just a general question, but is the concern of, "lack of activation" still present even if you add mixed use development with hundreds/thousands of new residence in the surrounding area?

 

 

 

Yes


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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Adding thousands of new residents in that part of downtown makes it that much more outrageous that you would close off one of the streets that pedestrians can currently use to get around.

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12 minutes ago, Wally said:

If the rendering is accurate, I'm counting about 30 stories above the top of the convention center expansion.

 

 

 

That is what the news is reporting. I believe the current hotel is about 35 stories. The new one will be about the same if you count the convention center floors and then probably higher with the new top will probably make it taller.

 

11 minutes ago, thebillshark said:

Closing off Elm is a terrible idea. This city has been marring and mutilating itself for years. It really does seem like we will never learn 

Agreed, but from the financing standpoint, it may be the only realistic option.

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3 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

That is what the news is reporting. I believe the current hotel is about 35 stories. The new one will be about the same if you count the convention center floors and then probably higher with the new top will probably make it taller.

 

Agreed, but from the financing standpoint, it may be the only realistic option.

 

How many stories does a new construction building need to be in order to peak out of cincy's skyline? Just curious. 

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2 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

How many stories does a new construction building need to be in order to peak out of cincy's skyline? Just curious. 

The current tower is a significant tower on the West side of town. If you are coming from 75 or River Road, it is significant. It is also significant from the North side of town. You can see it from the River too but it blends in more and is not as prominent because the main tower sits on 6th street. You cant see it from the East side of town which is understandable.

 

I imagine the new tower will occupy the same position. Not be much taller and not really offer a huge addition when viewed from the river.

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17 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Agreed, but from the financing standpoint, it may be the only realistic option.

 

Thats how Cincinnati gets into these situations. “Need to expand convention center” becomes some infallible common knowledge fact in everyone’s head and then the path of least resistance is taken. But there are always options. Perhaps we don’t need to expand the space at all and do nothing, or just build a hotel. Perhaps we drop the micro parochialism and have NKY build a state of the art convention center on the HUGE plot of land adjacent tot their convention center they have open waiting to be developed. Perhaps we say the convention center space doesn’t need to be contiguous and build an expansion east of Elm that leaves Elm Street intact. Perhaps we build a series of exhibition halls on the Fort Washington Way caps. What shouldn’t happen is for the plan to be fully formed and then leaders are pressured into a yes or no vote

 

Edited by thebillshark
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26 minutes ago, thebillshark said:

Closing off Elm is a terrible idea. This city has been marring and mutilating itself for years. It really does seem like we will never learn 

 

Agreed.  It'll turn the area around Cincinnati Bell into even more of an ignored corner of Downtown. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, thebillshark said:

 

Thats how Cincinnati gets into these situations. “Need to expand convention center” becomes some infallible common knowledge fact in everyone’s head and then the path of least resistance is taken. But there are always options. Perhaps we don’t need to expand the space at all and do nothing, or just build a hotel. Perhaps we drop the micro parochialism and have NKY build a state of the art convention center on the HUGE plot of land adjacent tot their convention center they have open waiting to be developed. Perhaps we say the convention center space doesn’t need to be contiguous and build an expansion east of Elm that leaves Elm Street intact. Perhaps we build a series of exhibition halls on the Fort Washington Way caps. But what seems to happen is these schemes are fully formed first and then leaders are pressured into a yes or no vote 

 

 

Personally, I would expand North over 6th street. Leave the millennium as a cheaper priced option to cater to visitors. Put a new Convention Hotel on the 5th street lot the city owns or over the new 6th street expansion, but that would be my wish list.

 

The only way I would have considered closing Elm is if they built an arena over that area to connect to the convention center.

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Bill is exactly right. There's just a complete inability for Cincinnati and Hamilton County leaders to think outside the box. Closing down a block of Plum Street to expand the existing convention center another 1/2 block is the cheapest/laziest/worst option. Less than 2 weeks ago, I shared the following in this thread:

 

On 9/11/2019 at 2:21 PM, taestell said:

I just looked up the plans for the Washington State Convention Center expansion in Downtown Seattle, and was surprised to see that the new building is six stories tall (most of the upper floors are meeting rooms or "flex" space, with the main exhibition space being on the ground floor), and additionally, the "expansion" is actually a separate building kitty-corner from the existing convention center building. I'm not sure if they intend to split very big conventions between the two buildings, or if the new building will be like the "new" convention center for bigger conventions and the old building used for smaller ones.

 

If other convention centers in the US are starting to build vertically instead of obsessing about how much continuous, uninterrupted floor space they have on a single level ... I am confused why we can't do the same.

 

hillclimb_down_day.jpg

hillclimb_up_day.jpg

WSCC_-_Rendering_-_Aerial_-_850_x_700.jpg

 

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2 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Personally, I would expand North over 6th street. Leave the millennium as a cheaper priced option to cater to visitors. Put a new Convention Hotel on the 5th street lot the city owns or over the new 6th street expansion, but that would be my wish list.

 

The only way I would have considered closing Elm is if they built an arena over that area to connect to the convention center.

 

...and if they do close it, I'd hope that they'd create some sort of pedestrian/bike underpass.  I think they're really underestimating how much Elm St. is used. 

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5 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Personally, I would expand North over 6th street. Leave the millennium as a cheaper priced option to cater to visitors. Put a new Convention Hotel on the 5th street lot the city owns or over the new 6th street expansion, but that would be my wish list.

 

Expanding over Sixth is another option, not great but I agree better than closing down Elm. Another option could be building up and adding another story for the main exhibition hall that could continuously expand over the streets onto other blocks without closing streets down. Theres always options, but closing down Elm is a terrible one 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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7 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

...and if they do close it, I'd hope that they'd create some sort of pedestrian/bike underpass.  I think they're really underestimating how much Elm St. is used. 

While something, It still creates a cavern that would keep pedestrians from using that area. Almost better just to keep it open to cars.  It would probably create a nice wind tunnel and be fairly intimidating for pedestrians to cross under an expanded center. Closing off Elm is jus ta bad idea. Especially since you only gain 1/2 a block.

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Is someone able to post a rendering of the proposed development?

 

Or can this be found Ina city planning commission packet/vandercarr website? Just curious how the enquirer got access. Not paying for this subscriber Bs.

 

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8 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

...and if they do close it, I'd hope that they'd create some sort of pedestrian/bike underpass.  I think they're really underestimating how much Elm St. is used. 

 

Even this risks creating a creepy tunnel like dead space that the next generation will blog about 


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3 minutes ago, thebillshark said:

 

Expanding over Sixth is another option, not great but I agree better than closing down Elm. Another option could be building up and adding another story for the main exhibition hall that could continuously expand over the streets onto other blocks without closing streets down. Theres always options, but closing down Elm is a terrible one 

I think closing down Central would be an even better option and going west to the highway.

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21 minutes ago, thebillshark said:

 

Even this risks creating a creepy tunnel like dead space that the next generation will blog about 

 

I mean it doesn't have to be creepy. They could easily work something with ArtWorks and create a art gallery tunnel that turns into a LED art gallery at night. They could do a lot of fun things with that if they truly wanted to. Art displays make everything feel more, "alive" in a city.

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Keep in mind people that ultimately this will come down to money any “tunnel” of sorts will add significant cost to the project which is why It’s probably not in the cards. Also for those who are still mentioning a westward expansion you can kiss that goodbye it’s not happening it would cost a fortune AND we still don’t have a final Brent Spence bridge plan.

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6 minutes ago, savadams13 said:

For those who keep asking to see the photos and renderings.

Convention 01.JPG

Convention 02.JPG

Convention 03.JPG

Convention 04.JPG

 

Wow this is gorgeous! Looks very modern and looks akin to a "bigger city".

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I fundamental reject the idea that we "need" to expand the convention center.  What we need to do is redevelop that corner of downtown for resident and workers.  Not sacrifice yet more land and streets for out of town visitors to come stay in Hotels.    

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It’s a shiny rendering, big deal.

 

Once the newness wears off is it going to be worth the damage to the downtown street grid? Are we condemning surrounding blocks to remain low activity for decades into the future? 

 

 


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Also how does Vine Street ever get converted to two way through the CBD if you block off Elm here? Right now Elm is the northbound to Race street’s southbound 


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2 minutes ago, thebillshark said:

It’s a shiny rendering, big deal.

 

Once the newness wears off is it going to be worth the damage to the downtown street grid? Are we condemning surrounding blocks to remain low activity for decades into the future? 

 

 

 

I mean if your adding thousands upon thousands of new residents in the future in cbd/otr/west end, will the population increase naturally create activated pedestrian activity regardless in this area on its own by way of new residents?

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10 minutes ago, JoeHarmon said:

I fundamental reject the idea that we "need" to expand the convention center.  What we need to do is redevelop that corner of downtown for resident and workers.  Not sacrifice yet more land and streets for out of town visitors to come stay in Hotels.    

 

“Sacrifice more land” ?? I’m sorry LOL. There are massive lots in the business district that sit ready for development including across the street from the convention center. Plus this land is already occupied by the millennium hotel.

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why not go big and just extend the top all the way across. Now you have 2 huge convention hall spaces.  you can build an additional hotel on the 5th street lot. If you are going to close off Elm, may as well go all in on convention business.

 

If they close off Elm, what could be done to the NW corner of downtown? City Hall location there is helpful and having city offices there is helpful for foot traffic. I think you would almost need to expand the streetcar to the FC stadium to help connect that area of town to the rest of downtown better by offering increased transportation offerings which could encourage more residents around there.

 

I would think the people at Pure Romance would have to hate this idea of closing Elm

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I understand that this isn't likely as it has already been pointed out that 3CDC won't give up parking in 84.51 building, but if they could be persuaded would make this more worthwhile and buy more time before any future expansions.

 

Take the parking in the 84.51 building add it to the proposed expansion converting it to convention center exhibition space.  Reposition hotel to allow 84.51 to expand over proposed convention center hall expansion.  Would be great if they could activate the proposed convention center expansion at the street level with restaurants and shops while also trying to lure development around the convention center on 5th and 6th with street level businesses as part of any developments.

 

Finally, add a free downtown circulator to drive traffic around the convention center and provide residents a way to access the rest of the downtown.

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5 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

why not go big and just extend the top all the way across. Now you have 2 huge convention hall spaces.  you can build an additional hotel on the 5th street lot. If you are going to close off Elm, may as well go all in on convention business.

 

If they close off Elm, what could be done to the NW corner of downtown? City Hall location there is helpful and having city offices there is helpful for foot traffic. I think you would almost need to expand the streetcar to the FC stadium to help connect that area of town to the rest of downtown better by offering increased transportation offerings which could encourage more residents around there.

 

I would think the people at Pure Romance would have to hate this idea of closing Elm

 

 

I have met the CEO of Pure Romance many times in the past he is super nice and they hold their big convention in the city twice a year. Trust me when I say they will be totally on board with anything that will get this new hotel and expansion done as quickly as possible.

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I'm almost okay with closing Elm if they create a pedestrian pass-through, similar to 6 1/2 Ave in Manhattan. A large, inviting, open space pedestrians can use to go from one side to the other, done in a way that's truly inviting and makes people feel comfortable doing so.

 

If the city is dead set on this type of expansion, this is a MUST. Those in the city should start creating awareness of the benfits of creating large pass-throughs in buildings of this size. They can work if handled correctly.

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58 minutes ago, JoeHarmon said:

I fundamental reject the idea that we "need" to expand the convention center.  What we need to do is redevelop that corner of downtown for resident and workers.  Not sacrifice yet more land and streets for out of town visitors to come stay in Hotels.    

 

Cincinnati isn't going to get top conventions even with a bigger center.  Top conferences and conventions that draw from all over the country use the spectacle of the city to draw people in, Las Vegas being the prime example.  Cincinnati would need a huge push into pop culture in order to become a bigger convention destination (ala Nashville), so a bigger center is just one half of the formula, and the much easier of the two to achieve.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Again I'm sort of not following, so excuse me if I sound dumb.

 

I know closing off elm in theory will harm street activity. 

 

My question is this; If the urban core continuously adds thousands of residents to CBD/OTR/Pendelton/West End etc in the coming decades..will this in theory still affect this, "activity"?

 

Even in regards to businesses, you add more residents to the urban core and typically you flow more blood and cash for businesses to open/stay open. 

 

So again, if we are going to continue to add thousands upon thousands of new residents downtown how will this in theory still affect pedestrian activity when you are already adding an influx of natural pedestrian residents who will be walking around downtown regardless. 

 

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9 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Cincinnati isn't going to get top conventions even with a bigger center.  Top conferences and conventions that draw from all over the country use the spectacle of the city to draw people in, Las Vegas being the prime example.  Cincinnati would need a huge push into pop culture in order to become a bigger convention destination (ala Nashville), so a bigger center is just one half of the formula, and the much easier of the two to achieve.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cincinnati NEEDS to begin marketing itself as a Midwest New Orleans/Savannah Georgia/Charleston, etc.

 

The only special thing about Cincy that makes it stand apart from alot of cities is the OTR historic district. 

 

If you had a smart advertising agency, you could easily generate tourism to Cincinnati because of OTR, the same way millions flock to Savannah/New Orleans each year to see their unique historic districts. 

 

I've said this countless times, and I'll say it again; Cincinnati without OTR is Nothing. OTR with Cincinnati is everything.

 

 

Edited by troeros

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37 minutes ago, troeros said:

The only special thing about Cincy that makes it stand apart from alot of cities is the OTR historic district. 

 

If you had a smart advertising agency, you could easily generate tourism to Cincinnati because of OTR, the same way millions flock to Savannah/New Orleans each year to see their unique historic districts. 

 

I think you just posted in another thread that you would be okay with an entire block of historic buildings downtown being demolished so that Western & Southern could build a new corporate office tower because it would have "a major impact on the skyline." If historic buildings are the "only special thing about Cincy" then we need to be doing literally everything we can to save every remaining historic building in the core.

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47 minutes ago, troeros said:

Again I'm sort of not following, so excuse me if I sound dumb.

 

I know closing off elm in theory will harm street activity. 

 

My question is this; If the urban core continuously adds thousands of residents to CBD/OTR/Pendelton/West End etc in the coming decades..will this in theory still affect this, "activity"?

 

Even in regards to businesses, you add more residents to the urban core and typically you flow more blood and cash for businesses to open/stay open. 

 

So again, if we are going to continue to add thousands upon thousands of new residents downtown how will this in theory still affect pedestrian activity when you are already adding an influx of natural pedestrian residents who will be walking around downtown regardless. 

 

 

Density doesn’t necessarily drive healthy street activity if the buildings and street layouts aren’t right, this is something urban renewal showed. The convention center creates a barrier, what Jane Jacobs would call a border space where there is little reason for pedestrians to travel ordinarily and can cause a negative feedback loop for the other side of the street ( https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/01/the-complete-guide-to-border-vacuums/512381/ and https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/how-border-vacuums-prevent-revitalization ) You can’t just consider activity during a convention on a Saturday afternoon but all hours of the day all days of the week. You don’t have to read anything to understand this though, just walk a few laps around the convention center on a weeknight. If 10 people don’t have a reason to walk there neither will 100. 

Edited by thebillshark

www.cincinnatiideas.com

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1 hour ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Cincinnati isn't going to get top conventions even with a bigger center.  Top conferences and conventions that draw from all over the country use the spectacle of the city to draw people in, Las Vegas being the prime example.  Cincinnati would need a huge push into pop culture in order to become a bigger convention destination (ala Nashville), so a bigger center is just one half of the formula, and the much easier of the two to achieve.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well that’s the point. According to your argument a larger convention center is “ one half of the formula” so the city needs it regardless. Also keep in mind even with this expansion Cincinnati will still lag behind MANY other cities in sq ft.

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

 

I think you just posted in another thread that you would be okay with an entire block of historic buildings downtown being demolished so that Western & Southern could build a new corporate office tower because it would have "a major impact on the skyline." If historic buildings are the "only special thing about Cincy" then we need to be doing literally everything we can to save every remaining historic building in the core.

 

A block of historic buildings versus an entire district....

 

OTR is special because you have blocks upon blocks, north, south, east, west. The entire area makes you feel immersed as if you stepped in a different world all together. A block of historic buildings doesn't evoke the same feelings.

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1 hour ago, thebillshark said:

 

Density doesn’t necessarily drive healthy street activity if the buildings and street layouts aren’t right, this is something urban renewal showed. The convention center creates a barrier, what Jane Jacobs would call a border space where there is little reason for pedestrians to travel ordinarily and can cause a negative feedback loop for the other side of the street ( https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/01/the-complete-guide-to-border-vacuums/512381/ and https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/how-border-vacuums-prevent-revitalization ) You can’t just consider activity during a convention on a Saturday afternoon but all hours of the day all days of the week. You don’t have to read anything to understand this though, just walk a few laps around the convention center on a weeknight. If 10 people don’t have a reason to walk there neither will 100. 

 

But can you not add shops, resturaunts, art galleries, etc in nearby commercial spaces that will then generate traffic regardless?

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1 hour ago, thebillshark said:

 

Density doesn’t necessarily drive healthy street activity if the buildings and street layouts aren’t right, this is something urban renewal showed. The convention center creates a barrier, what Jane Jacobs would call a border space where there is little reason for pedestrians to travel ordinarily and can cause a negative feedback loop for the other side of the street ( https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/01/the-complete-guide-to-border-vacuums/512381/ and https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/how-border-vacuums-prevent-revitalization ) You can’t just consider activity during a convention on a Saturday afternoon but all hours of the day all days of the week. You don’t have to read anything to understand this though, just walk a few laps around the convention center on a weeknight. If 10 people don’t have a reason to walk there neither will 100. 

6th street is a perfect example. You have the convention center on one side and parking garage on other and skywalks over top. There is never a need to walk down that street because you would only be there to go to a parking garage You would never have a walk up store that could make it because one side of the street is dead and the other is a parking garage.  Go to the 5th street side and you have a similar thing. The business or buildings that are there struggle because there is no activity on the other side of the street because of the hulking convention center takes the whole block. Your hope is that you get traffic from one side of the street only. It would work on 5th street side some, because of more of a critical mass of residents and businesses, but not on the 6th street side. There you have a couple garages, going North you have the Pure Romance building which is essentially a fortress with no street presence, and you have the Cincinnati Bell Building which is also a Fortress with no street level presence. YOU have the Shillitoes garage which is a dump too and does not have much of a street presence.

 

If I were a developer trying to develop housing, retail, etc to the blocks from 6th and Elm West to 9th and Elm and West, what is the draw? You have church at the end of Piatt park acting as a barrier for people from going further West as well. So you are left with City Hall and a bunch of parking on that quadrant. If you cut it off with the bigger convention center over Elm, it only exacerbates this problem.  Then, how do you connect it to the rest of the city? there needs to be something to tie that area back to the city and downtown.

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59 minutes ago, 646empire said:

 

 

Well that’s the point. According to your argument a larger convention center is “ one half of the formula” so the city needs it regardless. Also keep in mind even with this expansion Cincinnati will still lag behind MANY other cities in sq ft.

 

This is only going to be an incremental increase in the size of the center.  It's still going to be hosting youth gymnastics meets and cheer competitions every other weekend.  

 

 

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Look at Indy's and Columbus's convention space. They are on the edge of town. They create a defining point in downtown. Go to Chicago same thing, Dayton, etc. They are in a place where they create an defining line between downtown and what lies next to downtown.

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