Thursday, December 11, 2003

Developer seeks $10M from city



By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Eagle Realty Group has asked the city of Cincinnati to kick in almost $10 million for a parking garage that would serve as the foundation of the first office tower built downtown in more than a decade.

Eagle says it's ready to start construction on the $62.5 million mid-rise tower immediately if City Council approves the deal sent to council members Wednesday.

Under terms negotiated between Eagle and city development officials, the city would contribute $9.9 million in future property taxes generated by the project to pay for a 680-space garage at Third and Broadway.

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority already endorsed a plan to issue up to $50 million in bonds for the project, named Queen City Square. The developer is seeking city approval to use future property tax dollars generated by Queen City Square - known as tax increment financing - to pay off the port-issued bonds.

The developer would build eight floors of office space atop the garage.

Eagle, the development arm of Western & Southern Financial Group, also wants the city to spend another $533,000 for sidewalks and streetscape improvements.

Eagle officials did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment on the project. In a report to council members, City Manager Valerie Lemmie said businesses that move into the office building could hire up to 600 workers. Also, another 110 jobs would be created during the project's construction.

Calls to several City Council members were not returned Wednesday night.

Eagle said it is negotiating with prospective tenants.

E-mail kalltucker@enquirer.com



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