Business Development News

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

Smale Riverfront Park project manager Dave Prather walks us through the latest progress at the $120M construction site, and details what is to come for future phases. With critical mass now reached, opening of the central riverfront park is scheduled to take place in the coming months.

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.”

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.