New Grant Provides Funding for Multi-Acre Greenway in Uptown Cincinnati
Uptown Consortium, Inc.
Uptown Consortium, Inc. (UCI) recently received a $10,000 Powerful Communities Grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to continue planning and development efforts for the Innovation Greenway, a multi-acre green space that will be incorporated into the developments at Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood.
The Innovation Greenway is designed to increase connectivity between developments and the surrounding neighborhoods and to provide recreation and gathering space for community members and tenants. The Greenway will include multi-use trails for walking and biking, pocket parks, seating decks, public art, and sustainable greenspace accessible to the community. Initial plans also connect the Innovation Greenway with other projects in the community, including the Wasson Way trail and the Cincinnati Reds field in Avondale.
“We’re working to create an ecosystem that is regionally connected, innovative and rooted in the assets of local residents and businesses,” said Beth Robinson, President & CEO of UCI. “The Innovation Greenway will deliver amenities in high demand among both residents and talent, providing opportunities for people to interact by chance and by choice.”
UCI’s overarching goal is to provide greater mobility and access to economic opportunities for the Avondale community and surrounding Uptown neighborhoods. UCI hopes that the Innovation Greenway will improve community health and wellness while creating an accessible built environment. This fits with UCI’s ongoing economic inclusion and community engagement initiatives with WEB Ventures LLC to ensure that existing residents benefit from new development in their neighborhood.
The surrounding development is a 65-acre innovation and technology hub comprised of several projects—Uptown Gateway, the Node, Queen City Hills LLC’s mixed-use development, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health’s new research facility and the 1819 Innovation Hub—including a combination of office and research space, retail, and hotels. UCI and its development partners hope that the Innovation Greenway will be one more amenity to help attract businesses, top talent and new residents to the area.
In addition, the Innovation Greenway will serve a sustainability function through its integration into the site’s stormwater management plan, collecting surface run-off from roads and the surrounding developments and directing it to the natural stream greenway. The green space will develop in concert with the natural ecology, promoting biodiversity and ecological health, as well as human comfort and wellness, and preserved existing trees will provide character and shade for outdoor activities.
“Duke Energy is excited to partner with UCI to sustainably transform the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “The Innovation Greenway will be a vibrant destination for residents of and visitors to the Uptown neighborhoods.”
The Innovation Greenway is part of UCI’s larger planning and placemaking efforts with Boston-based design firm Sasaki. The green space is a major component of the mixed-use developments at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road, which are projected to feature $2.5 billion in project investment with the potential to generate and retain up to 7,500 jobs.
Beth Robinson is the President and CEO of Uptown Consortium, Inc., a nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to the economic development of Uptown Cincinnati. To learn more about the Uptown Consortium, visit www.uptowncincinnati.com.
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