Walking path, restoring basketball court part of Keystone Parke development plans
Neyer Properties and the Cincinnati Bengals literally helped level the playing field for underserved Evanston youth on Tuesday—by creating a youth football practice field and improving a battered basketball court at Evanston Park.
On Tuesday, Bengals, their wives, and local businesspeople, including Neyer Properties employees, participated in the Bengals/United Way annual Hometown Huddle, an NFL-wide day of community service.
The group constructed a par cours FitCircuit; created a walking path; relocated and restored the existing basketball court; converted former swimming pool changing rooms to a concession stand; and created a practice field for the American Bantam League Evanston Bulldogs youth football team.
“The redevelopment of this area has injected new energy into the Evanston community,” said Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. “We have a new energy-efficient office building, a new Red Cross Building and a new park. I want to thank Neyer Properties and the Bengals for their hard work to make Evanston Park a real tribute to the community. Every year, the Hometown Huddle makes an amazing difference in our city.”
“This project will serve as a lasting gift to the community for residents, kids, families and members of the Evanston area,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “The park will give children and adults a new place to enjoy the outdoors, stay active and gather with friends and family.”
Previous Hometown Huddle projects have improved playground and public sites in Price Hill, Carthage, College Hill, Avondale and Mt. Airy Forest as well as Rothenberg Preparatory School in the Over-the-Rhine.
Evanston Park improvements have been on the drawing board since early 2006, when Neyer Properties finished acquiring the 44 parcels of property it needed to build the first building in its $100 million Keystone Parke green office campus at I-71 and Dana Avenue.
At that time, Neyer donated a piece of property that provided Evanston Park with additional land needed for soccer and football fields. Last year Neyer and Home Depot conducted the first round of park renovations by cleaning up the park, adding landscaping, filling in the swimming pool, adding new playground equipment, and removing the tennis court area.
Keystone Parke’s first office building opened in June, 2008. Upon completion of the four buildings planned for the site, 460,000 square feet of office space and 2,000 jobs will be added to Evanston.
Neyer also developed the American Red Cross regional headquarters building on the Keystone Parke campus, which is on target to achieve LEED Gold certification.
The FitCircuit equipment will help users develop and enhance balance, strength, agility, flexibility and endurance through a series of exercises. The exercises are aimed at keeping youth active and boosting self-esteem.
Volunteers also beautified the space with extensive landscaping including native trees, shrubs, mulch and flowers, painting and installing fresh new benches and trash cans.