Bengals, county reach deal on The Banks, PBS - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Bengals, county reach deal on The Banks, PBS

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Paul Brown Stadium. File photo Paul Brown Stadium. File photo
Hamilton County commissioners meet Thursday to discuss a new agreement with the Bengals. Gordon Graham/FOX19 Hamilton County commissioners meet Thursday to discuss a new agreement with the Bengals. Gordon Graham/FOX19
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

General Electric's new headquarters could be located at The Banks after Hamilton County commissioners reached a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday to waive the height restrictions in the lease agreement.

In the new deal, Paul Brown Stadium will get some of the upgrades they have previously asked the county for, including a new scoreboard to which the team will contribute 20 percent of the cost.

Additionally, waiving the height restriction allows for construction of a new 291-unit apartment complex to begin at The Banks, continuing the growing downtown development.

Hamilton County commissioners approved the deal in a meeting on Thursday after four-day negotiations with the Bengals. Republican President Greg Hartmann and Democrat Todd Portune voted in favor of the deal while Republican Chris Monzel abstained from voting because of his position at GE Aviation in Evendale.

"The deal we're announcing today includes cost sharing on items that we've wrestled over, over some period of time including the scoreboard and a new Wi-Fi system for Paul Brown Stadium," Hartmann said. 

Hartmann says now that the Bengals are waiving their height restrictions, the door is open for the next phase of The Banks development.

If GE decides to locate their new office space in downtown, it could mean up to 2,000 new jobs in the area. Other locations vying for the GE development are Oakley and Mason.

Bids for the GE site are due Friday and the company hopes to break ground this summer and have their new facility fully operational by 2017. 

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To read the county's lease with the Bengals, click here.

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