Development News

Significant visual progress being made at Smale Riverfront Park

Cincinnati’s new central riverfront park has a new name thanks to a $20.75 million private donation, will display portions of the decommissioned USS Cincinnati submarine and is making major visual progress on phase one of the $120 million development.

Major progress has been made on Cincinnati’s new central riverfront park since project manager Dave Prather last delivered an update. Thanks to a $20.75 million private donation, the park is now named the Smale Riverfront Park in honor of Phyllis W. Smale and her family who donated the large sum of money.

The Smale Riverfront Park now also appears poised to host portions of the decommissioned USS Cincinnati submarine which has long been sought for display on the Ohio River. Furthermore, Prather says that an announcement will soon be made on a new hotel to be constructed adjacent to the park as part of The Banks development.

In Prather’s video update he also highlights the progress on the Moerlein Lager House which now includes a tower crane as vertical construction progresses, and the Schmidlapp Event Lawn which is nearly complete.

Surrounding the event lawn are mature Red Maple trees which were purchased by Cincinnati Parks two years ago and prepared for planting. The event lawn itself is largely complete and is awaiting final granite installation and the shade structure for the event stage which will include photovoltaic solar cells atop it.

The demolition of the old Merhing Way has also been completed along with the demolition of the former wall along the Ohio River. The result of those two demolition projects, Prather says, is now improving the visual connection with the river.

Other notable updates are that the Walnut Street Steps are taking form and are aligning with Walnut Street. The steps will then connect activities at the upper level of the Smale Riverfront Park to those lower at the Women’s Committee Garden. Prather also says that the slab for the interactive will be poured soon, and that the cascading water feature spilling down from a glass overlook will also take shape in the near future.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.