First phase of Smale Riverfront Park on schedule, future phases hinge on funding

The first phase of construction on the $120 million Smale Riverfront Park is nearly complete. A handful of small construction pieces continue, but most large items have been finished. Project officials will open the first phase of the 45-acre central riverfront park in the coming months, and will celebrate the grand opening of the Moerlein Lager House on February 27, 2012.

“This summer we will continue working our way east with our connection to Paddle Wheel Park, Public Landing and other waterfront parks,” project manager Dave Prather detailed. “We expect that piece to be completed spring 2013 which is when we plan to proceed with construction of the boat dock.”

In the latest video update on the project Prather also takes viewers inside the Moerlein Lager House for the first look at the second-floor Hudepohl Bar, and highlights the finishings inside the Beer Barons Hall of Fame.

Prather also highlighted the completion of the park’s geothermal system which will soon be operational and carrying one million gallons of 57-degree water through the system daily.

The bike runnels along the Walnut Street steps are now visible and will allow for bicyclists to easily transport their bikes down the staircase to the Bike & Mobility Center which is scheduled for an April 2012 opening. While much progress has been made on phase one, progress on future phases are still up in the air.

“We don’t think we will be able to proceed with construction further west for another couple of years,” explained Prather. “So it probably will be a 2014 or 2015 project, but it will depend on some federal authorizations and funding.”

  • So so SO excited for this. I am incredibly glad that they are aspiring to a certain aesthetic with the water features, green-spaces, and glass-work. I wish the banks project had a more Cincinnati feel to it but the riverfront park looking to be a great success and it is so great that they take the time to do these videos. Just awesome. Ha even the tags are a summary of the greatest things about Cincinnati – “Architecture, Beer, Bicycles…”

    • I too love that the Park Board has been putting these videos together. Given their relatively long lengths, it is quite surprising that each video seems to get several hundred views. Obviously people are excited about the project.

      The quality of work that is taking place at the Smale Riverfront Park is what has become expected from the Cincinnati Park Board. It has a very good aesthetic, uses innovative techniques, and adds real value to the Cincinnati region. Unfortunately this has no longer become what is expected from private developers, but I’m glad Smale Riverfront Park is adjacent to The Banks, because it will enhance the look and value of The Banks development.

  • Matt Jacob

    These videos are great and I can definitely see why they are getting so many views. And the end product is turning out even better than the renderings IMHO.  

    I’m a little confused though. When did they change the scope of all the phases? The boat dock wasn’t supposed to be until phase 4 (although it does make more sense to finish the east side of the project completely before moving west. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though; westsiders always get the shaft)