20 SHAKERONLINE.COM | SPRING 2017 Making the Connection; Activating the Place Van Aken On Track Out with the old and in with the new. The Van Aken Center buildings are gone, site prep is underway, and new buildings will start rising from the ground this spring. By January 2018 finished spaces will be handed over to tenants for build out, and by summer 2018 phase one will be open! Those are the “big” things, but there are many smaller things that will truly stitch together the District, the surrounding neighborhoods, and the larger City. The connections – biking and walking paths, landscaping, signage, and a cohesive overall look and feel – require careful planning and attention to detail. These are the things that elevate a development from being just new buildings, to becoming a vibrant, cohesive, and well-used downtown seamlessly connected to the neighborhoods surrounding it. Ever mindful of the importance of the connections, the Planning Department has refined a plan, over many years and with input from two public meetings for residents and stakeholders, to address these critical elements. The final plan, developed in conjunction with consultants, was funded through a $75,000 grant with $60,000 coming from Northeast Areawide Coordinating Agency’s Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative and matching funds of $7,500 each from the developer, RMS, and the City.
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