Surrounding the high-tech office buildings and innovative thinking in the Uptown Corridor will be plenty of greenspace, especially on the northeast corner of Martin Luther King and Reading roads. Plans are being unveiled for what's called the Innovation Greenway.
Initial plans for the multi-acre green space call for walking and biking trails, small parks, water features and recreational space. The goal is to increase connectivity between developments in the four quadrants of the intersection and surrounding neighborhoods.
Uptown Consortium, Inc., a non-profit community development organization, began planning when the MLK interchange at I-71 was announced.
"For us, it was equally important that we created space that made our neighborhoods of Uptown, the residents, welcome and invited into the innovation district," UCI President Beth Robinson says.
A couple of years ago, UCI - made up of UC, UC Health, Children's Hospital, The Cincinnati Zoo and Tri-Health - began buying and assembling property around the MLK interchange including parking lots and blighted properties.
Avondale leaders have been at the design table throughout the process.
"We think it's an excellent opportunity to connect to all of the Uptown neighborhoods, and to the Wasson Way trail," Executive Director of the Avondale Development Corporation Russell Hairston says. "I think it will open up those doors and those, self imposed, if you will, barriers to neighborhoods."
Robinson is already imagining what it will look like. "So, if you're taking a walk you can walk through the quadrant and go through the greenway and you can go on the bike trail and right through all the development," she says.
In the future, she says, "we'd like to offer some programming."
Hairston would like to see art depicted and an entrepreneurship program.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022.
UCI has just received a $25,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to continue its planning and design efforts for the project.