the Banks

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati’s City Manager said Tuesday he has reached a financial restructuring agreement with Liz Rogers, who closed Mahogany’s at The Banks in August and still owed the city a substantial amount of money.  The plan forgives part of her debt and sets up a repayment structure.

Harry Black provided the details of the plan in a memo to Mayor John Cranley and city council members.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Second Street is closed between Vine and Main as crews install a curved piece of streetcar track.  Project Executive John Deatrick says it will be closed for two weeks because of the complicated nature of the construction.

“Traffic is difficult, but this is technically very difficult work,” Deatrick says.  “Putting in expansion boxes that allow the rail to slip back and forth against each other but yet keep the streetcar on the tracks when you pass over a bridge expansion joint.”

Those joints allow for expansion and contraction during hot and cold weather. 

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The owners of one of the first tenant restaurants at The Banks will be opening the newest eateries there.  The owners of the Holy Grail will open Santo Graal in March.

According to a press release from the Banks, Santo Graal is Italian for “Holy Grail”, and will offer classic Italian pasta, calzones, salads, desserts, and pizza.  It will be open for lunch and for dinner.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The owner of the now closed Mahogany's Restaurant at The Banks is asking Cincinnati to reduce the amount of her outstanding city loan.  She also wants the city to sell her furniture and equipment from the facility for $8,000.  

City Manager Harry Black sent a memo to the mayor and council members Wednesday about his October 2nd meeting with Rogers.  

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Update 09/29/2014 at 8:00PM:  Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black told council members in a memo Monday evening he will meet with Mahogany's owner Liz Rogers.

"Due to threatened litigation, I have been intentionally measured in public statements on this subject," Black wrote in the memo.  "To be clear, I intend to meet with Mrs. Rogers, soon, in order to discuss this situation."

Black told council he would report back on the results of his meeting with Rogers, and seek direction on how to proceed.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance committee is likely to discuss the now closed Mahogany's Restaurant during its meeting Monday.  

A Council majority has signed a motion asking city administrators to meet with owner Liz Rogers and her attorney to see if there's a way to protect the city's financing that went into the project.  

Four people addressed the issue Wednesday during Council's regular weekly meeting.  Resident Iris Roley directed a portion of her comments to Mayor John Cranley.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati administrators are not willing to cut a deal with the owner of a now closed restaurant at The Banks.  

Liz Rogers, through a weekend letter from her attorney, asked the city to forgive her $300,000 city loan and allow her to purchase the city funded restaurant equipment for $12,000.  In return she would re-open her Mahogany's restaurant at another city location within 120 days.  

City spokesman Rocky Merz provided the following e-mail on the issue Tuesday morning.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The owner of a troubled restaurant at The Banks development said Tuesday she is looking for a new location.  Liz Rogers gave a prepared statement about the future of Mahogany's during a press conference at the facility.

"We find that we are in the midst of a climate that is not conducive to successfully executing our business model here at The Banks,” Rogers said.  “We have determined that our restaurant model is not a fit for The Banks development and we are interested in relocating.”

The developer and architect of the planned General Electric Global Operations Center showed preliminary drawings to Cincinnati's Urban Design Review Board, and board members were not impressed.

The five board members said they didn’t believe the architectural drawings of the 10-story building to be constructed on The Banks were distinctive enough; and that the building was too plain.

But, in the end, there is nothing the Urban Design Review Board can do about it.

Provided, The Banks

Update 7/9/14 at 9:20am:  The concrete pours were delayed overnight.  Now rescheduled to begin (weather permitting) Thursday, July 10th at 1:00 a.m. and wrap-up by mid-morning.  Scheduled to be complete by Reds game start on Thursday 12:35 p.m.

Construction work on the next phase of The Banks project will shut down a section of Race Street early Wednesday morning.  The road will be closed between Freedom Way and Second Street from 2 a.m. until 10 a.m. Wednesday.  

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