Contractor chosen for Washington Park renovation

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and the Cincinnati Park Board have selected a general contractor (GC) for the $47.3 million Washington Park expansion and renovation project.

The GC selected is an association between Turner Construction Company and Megen Construction Company, two firms that will bring a wealth of experience to the project.  Turner was founded in 1902 and has offices throughout the U.S., with a local Cincinnati office since 1954.  Megen is a minority owned, Ohio-based construction company founded in 1993.

"Not only are we thrilled to win this contract, it is especially exciting as a downtown business and neighbor of Washington Park to participate in such an energetic revitalization of the area," said Ken Jones, Vice President and General Manager of Turner's Cincinnati operations.

"As a Cincinnatian, I am excited about the future of Over-the-Rhine, with the expanded and renovated Washington Park," said Evans Evans Nwankwo, President and CEO of Megen Construction.  "To be part of the team that brings this dream to reality is, without a doubt, an amazing opportunity.  We thank the Park Board and 3CDC for their unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion."

The selection of the Turner/Megen team follows an extensive and detailed planning, design and financing process for Washington Park that began in 2005 with 20 public, community, and stakeholder meetings.

"The Park Board is pleased to have Turner/Megen selected as the General Contractor for this important civic project and the contracting team will be a highly inclusive one," said Willie Carden, Cincinnati Park Board Director.

"The GC selection was a comprehensive process that looked at everything from schedule and price to the quality of the day to day management team and true minority participation," said Stephen Leeper, President and CEO of 3CDC.

The Washington Park expansion and renovation project is a partnership between the Cincinnati Park Board and 3CDC.  The City is contributing $14 million toward the project for the park improvements. In addition the project received $7.85 million in loans and grants from the State of Ohio through the Ohio Department of Development Urban Redevelopment Loan & Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission State of Ohio Capital Grant, along with over $25.15 million from private sources including The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./US Bank Foundation, The P&G Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, The Cincinnati Development Fund, PNC Bank, Cincinnati Equity Fund II, and Cincinnati New Markets Fund.

The park will expand from six to eight acres.  Nearly an acre will be dedicated to a state-of-the-art, interactive water feature and children's play area.  The park plan also calls for retaining historic features, such as the bandstand, while adding performance stages, additional green space including a 37,000 square foot civic lawn (approximately the size of a football field) and a 450-space underground parking garage. Active event programming will also play a key role in the redevelopment.

The project is an important and critical next step in the overall, on-going renaissance of Over-the-Rhine.  The proximity of Washington Park to Music Hall, the new public School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Ensemble Theatre and other arts venues, combined with the historical significance and Italianate architecture of OTR, will make the Park an entertainment and arts destination locally, regionally and nationally.  It will stimulate additional private economic development, which will further improve the quality of life for the neighborhood and its residents.

Turner/Megen is expected to begin construction in mid to late October.

Since 2005, investment by the City of Cincinnati and 3CDC, include the Washington Park project, has resulted in nearly $162 million in investment in the neighborhood and a 50% drop in crime in 3CDC's development focus area.

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