The Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners is pleased to announce that the long-planned renovation of Lytle Park is set to begin on November 7, 2022. This restoration project will bring new life to the underutilized park in the southeast corner of Downtown.
Earlier this year, Cincinnati Parks declined the project again within the city’s procurement guidelines and rules. The impact of rapidly increasing construction costs added $2 million to the project since it was originally bid in 2018-2019.
Western & Southern Financial Fund, which originally gave $1.6 million to the project, has agreed to make additional contributions of nearly $1.6 million, for a total of $3.2 million. The Board of Park Commissioners also agreed to use $400,000 in Park Board funding to help bridge the gap. The total cost of the project is expected to be $4.7 million.
“As frustrating as the project delays have been, we would like to express our deep appreciation for the continued commitment and funding of Western & Southern has given to ensure that this public park is completely renovated for the enjoyment of generations of park neighbors, residents and visitors. They never wavered, and on behalf of all those who use and trust our parks, we remain grateful for their continued support,” said Jim Goetz, chairman of the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners.
“We are honored to be involved and appreciate the Park Board’s commitment to the Lytle Park neighborhood,” said Paul Silva, president of Eagle Realty Group, Western & Southern’s real estate investment subsidiary. “It is one of the best green spaces in the city and we look forward to seeing more residents, businesses and visitors rediscover the area.”
Cincinnati Parks Director Jason Barron added, “The freeway tunnel restoration has left Lytle Park a little dull. Well, that’s about to change in a big way. We’re excited to bring Lytle Park back to life and create a great public space, where generations of Cincinnatians will have fun. The restoration of Lytle Park is another example of how Cincinnati is fortunate to have corporate partners like Western & Southern to help make great things happen.”
Completion is scheduled for fall 2023. Visit www.cincinnatiparks.com or @cincyparks on social media platforms for project updates.
In January 2019, following a community engagement effort and collaboration with project funding partner Western & Southern approved the Board of Park Commissioners’ plans for the renovation and restoration of Lytle Park, originally established as a Cincinnati Park in 1905. This renovation project was made necessary by the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Lytle Tunnel ventilation project completed in 2017. The project includes new hardscape with multiple plazas and brick walkways, a decorative fountain, a running track, new landscaping, lighting, a bocce ball court and benches (see images below for project rendering and site image).
The new park is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Western & Southern Financial Group, in addition to donating funds to renovate the park, has committed $40,000 annually to support ongoing maintenance. An additional $1.1 million in funds received from ODOT as a result of the 2017 tunnel project will also be used.