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$3.1M Dana Avenue transformation through Evanston underway

Dana Avenue through Evanston is in the midst of a transformation that includes streetscaping and on- and off-ramp improvements at the Interstate-71 interchange. Ramp improvements are currently underway and are expected to be complete this month, while the streetscaping projects are expected to begin this fall.

The Dana Avenue improvements have been made possible through more than $1.7 million in contributions from Neyer Properties, who developed Keystone Parke, and a $1.4 million Ohio Job Ready Sites (JRS) grant. The JRS grant was awarded to the City of Cincinnati because of the grant's ability to compliment Keystone Parke and an emerging commercial development node.

"Positive attributes are that it [Keystone Parke] leverages a small amount of state funds to create a smart office complex of over 460,000 square feet," said Sheena Metzger, administrator for the Ohio JRS program. "The project has excellent visibility from the interstate, and all of the buildings on site are going to be LEED-certified at least to the Silver level."

Trend Construction is expected to complete Dana Avenue's streetscaping projects by spring 2011. Improvements will include new sidewalks, crosswalk lights, and street trees in an attempt to make the roadway more pedestrian-friendly. A middle turn lane will also be added along Dana Avenue (map) where needed, with a landscaped boulevard design included where turn lanes are deemed unnecessary.

"Keystone pushed the idea forward, but these improvements were really needed by the whole community," explained Jeff Chamot, Senior Development Project Manager, Neyer Properties." He adds, "The light poles are not the only thing about this project that is green. Like the light poles, all signage is lit with LED and fluorescent bulbs, landscaping is native and drought-tolerant, and low-flow drip irrigation in the planting beds will be tied into a moisture sensor to ensure unnecessary water usage is minimized."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
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