Cincinnati Banksproject,

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Previous company statements have indicated that privateinvestment will ring in at between $600 million to $800 million,and that public entities will kick in about $109 million, whichincludes funding for a new road called Freedom Way. The developmentteam was given until Feb. 29 to piece together lending terms. ACarter spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that the team is halfwaythere. "We've secured preliminary financing with three majorCincinnati banks, and also have engaged several equity partners,"she tells GlobeSt.com on Friday. The spokeswoman declined to namethe financiers involved.

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She says the team has been having weekly meetings, putting theproject into motion. "All I can say is that we don't anticipate anyproblems. All the financing people we've talked to have expressed akeen interest in the project. We're still looking at a springgroundbreaking," she says. The project is expected to start thisyear, with the first phase, including 300 apartments and 70,000 sfof retail, complete in the blocks between Walnut and Main by 2010.The first phase could also include 100 condos and at least 200,000sf of office. The entire project may take until 2017 to complete,according to development team statements. The developer isreporting activity and interest in regard to retail and officeleasing, but the spokeswoman refused to name any companies now innegotiations. "We're not going to release that information untilafter the 29th," she says.

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The city and the county recently achieved three contingencyitems that it had been tasked with for the project. The governmentbodies entered into an agreement with the National UndergroundFreedom Center in late January to gain the land in front of thecenter's building. Also, two Community Entertainment Districts wereestablished in January that increased the number of Banksproprietors who may be able to sell liquor. Finally, an amendmentto the TIF district legislation was passed by the city council thatfinalizes the provisions that the project needs to allow collectedtaxes to be reinvested in the project.

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Also in late January, the city and county released the firstrequest for qualifications for the project, for consultingservices. The entire team is expected to release the sitepreparation-demolition bid package in February.

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