A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Corporex to move forward with Ovation, now that FC Cincinnati plans to build stadium in the West End

NKyTribune staff

Corporex has released a statement saying it plans to move forward with development of Ovation.

The announcement comes after FC Cincinnati announced plans to develop a stadium in Cincinnati’s West End.

While the Ovation site in Newport had been identified as one of three potential stadium sites, along with the West End and Oakley many in Northern Kentucky were skeptical.

FC Cincinnati had never really identified a plan for a stadium in Newport as it had for the other two sites.

At a Newport City Commission meeting in March,  Mayor Jerry Peluso and city manager Tom Fromme said the City never had any in-depth conversations with FC Cincinnati about building a stadium there.

“No, we’ve never sat down and talked with them,” Peluso said then. “They said Newport’s name has come up quite often and that they’re interested in the Newport site.”

Less than a month ago, FC announced that it had eliminated the West End from consideration as a potential stadium site, but it is now identified as the only site for the project.

It expects to get the necessary approval this week to move forward with the stadium development.

Corporex released the following statement regarding Ovation:

Corporex view: The original master plan is best for Northern Kentucky’s future.

Corporex acquired the land for Ovation in late 2006, developed a master plan involving townhomes, apartments, condominiums, office buildings, hotels, entertainment and retail.

Components were engineered and approval for reconstruction of the flood barrier and a raided podium over a three-block sized parking structure were secured. The company spent two years working with the Kentucky General Assembly to pass Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Legislation to make the public/private development possible.

Butler

Then the project was delayed waiting for the Route 9 extension.

“Kentucky received $6.5 million of so-called shovel-ready money from the Federal Government at the beginning of the recession. We redesigned our masterplan to allow the construction of this major artery through our property. Then we waited and waited for the road to be built,” said Tom Banta of Corporex.

Corporex intended to get moving on the development last year, but then the concept of the soccer stadium came forward.

“We decided to be helpful until the MLS made its decision. We offered a development package which, in effect, represented free land, — because we would have provided TIF financing for approximately $39 million of the actual stadium cost components” according to Bill Butler, chairman of Corporex. “We were very supportive and helpful, but in the end, we felt that the original master plan is best for the long-range evolution of Northern Kentucky. Now we intend to get on with building the major infrastructure and working with various residential properties and entertainment opportunities in partnership with developers that complement our core business.”

We are pleased that FC Cincinnati has been able to work out a solution where the stadium will contribute significantly to the Cincinnati community.

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