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100 million dollar I-71 project equals more jobs and housing

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- Between 5 and 7,000 new jobs and several hundred million dollars in economic impact is what an interchange at I-71 and Martin Luther King Boulevard could bring to what's known as "Uptown Cincinnati."

Uptown is home to major hospitals, the University of Cincinnati, and the zoo.  Today, more information came out on what the interchange is supposed to generate.  The interchange is a done deal with groundbreaking planned for late July. 

When you think of the proposed interchange at I-71 and Martin Luther King you're supposed to think of new offices and new jobs.  What you might not think of is the courtyard pool at the 300 unit Stetson Square Apartment and Condominium project.  It's located right off of MLK Boulevard near the UC campus and medical center.  The proposed 100 million dollar I-71 interchange is expected to lead to not only more places to work, but more places to live near those places to work or to attend school.

UC student, Jacqueline Wright, said, "We chose to live here because we have the pool and parking and a fitness center inside."

One obvious question about the interchange, why spend 100 million dollars on new exits when the Taft Road exit is less than a mile from MLK?  Well, Taft is a southbound exit only.  The new interchange will have a northbound cloverleaf onto MLK and a southbound exit as well.  That will dump into MLK and also continue down to Taft, speeding up access to an area with more than 50,000 jobs already.

"There is such a volume of traffic coming into and out of uptown now on a daily basis and if you add special events we really have a traffic issue," said Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium.

The goal is to have an innovation corridor; office buildings for research companies which support hospitals and universities.  The interchange is supposed to be finished in two years and open mid-to-late 2016.
Tuesday's presentation on the MLK interchange was to a group called Commercial Real Estate Women, who presumably will have a lot more real estate to develop and sell once the interchange goes in.  The 100 million dollar price tag is being picked up by the state and the city. 

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