Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New, green American Red Cross HQ draws dignitaries

More than 300 people, including local dignitaries and community partners, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $14.4 million American Red Cross regional headquarters yesterday at Keystone Parke in Evanston.

"When we first started our search for a location to build a new Red Cross Building and Disaster Operations Center, we had certain requirements," said American Red Cross, Cincinnati chapter COO Steve Drefahl in a media release. "We had to have flexibility in the space design so we could respond to disasters of all sizes while not having large amounts of space lying dormant for extended periods of time.

Previously headquartered at an outdated space at , Downtown, it found that flexibility in a three-story, 45,000-square-foot building built by Neyer Properties and centrally located .

"Dan Neyer and [Neyer Properties Building Development Director] Charlie Pond were tireless in their efforts to find a facility for us and in working with the state and city to meet our needs," said Brian Keating, board chairman of the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross. "It all happened on time and under budget."

"We wanted to stay within the city limits," Drefahl said. "We wanted to be an energy- efficient and environmentally-sound building. We found all this with Keystone Parke and Neyer Properties."

On target to receive LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the new headquarters includes bioswale and rain garden systems, native landscaping, low-flow water fixtures, high-efficiency window glazing, LED parking lot lights, sensor lighting, bike racks and showers, and a green roof. The building was designed by Emersion Design.

Neyer Properties has committed to building all future office buildings to LEED certification. The new American Red Cross headquarters is the eleventh LEED project completed or under development by Neyer Properties since 2002 and is well integrated into Keystone Parke, the Tri-State's first green office campus.

"A major connection between Neyer Properties and the Red Cross is our mutual commitment to health, wellness, the community, our residents and workers, and the environment," said Dan Neyer, Neyer Properties president. "We're very proud to have them as neighbors."

Among the local dignitaries attending the event were Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, U.S. representatives Steve Driehaus (D-1st) and Jean Schmidt (R-2nd), Ohio senators Eric Kearney (D-9th) and Bill Seitz (R-8th), Ohio representatives Denise Driehaus (D-31st) and Bill Coley (R-55th), and Evanston Community Council President Anzora Adkins.

Representatives of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and U.S. Senator George Voinovich also attended.

Founded in 1905, the Cincinnati chapter of the American Red Cross serves two million people in 25 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. On average, it responds to more than 800 disasters a year.

Photo courtesy of Oak Tree Communications.

Previous reading on BC:
New Red Cross HQ gets more parking room (5/27/09)
Neyer Properties requests additional parcel to be added to Keystone Parke (5/18/09)
Site of American Red Cross HQ added to Keystone Parke (2/16/09)
Cincinnati EDC considers altering Keystone Parke plan for American Red Cross (2/3/09)
City approves rezoning for Downtown hotel (9/30/08)