Cincinnati’s Duke Energy Convention Center renovation plan unveiled, could cost $200M

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati’s city council got its first look Monday at a plan to expand and renovate Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.

The plan by 3CDC and architects Moody Nolan and TVS would cost around $200 million. Renderings show a roofline that reflects Cincinnati’s seven hills, an opening of the inside of the building and their vision for the site of the former Millennium Hotel.

“We really want to make this building attractive, functional, flexible and green and make sure it lasts for a long time and is competitive for a long time (so) we’re not back here at the table five or 10 years from now saying we missed something,” 3CDC’s Steve Leeper said.

Provided by 3CDC

Leeper said the hope is they can expand the convention center east over Elm Street and create an “exciting” outdoor space.

Also included in the renderings were plans for an 800-room convention hotel that would be placed in a parking lot across the street.

Provided by 3CDC

He called the plan for the expansion “a bold vision that’s going to be an expensive vision.”

How they would pay for the changes is still in question. Leeper said they would want to change how the current hotel tax in the city and county is used to help with costs. The budget and finance committee voted to use $7 million in carryover funds to move the project forward. The full council will vote on it Wednesday.

3CDC said it hopes to start construction sometime in the summer.

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