(Cleveland) - In a downtown ceremony, the KeyBank Foundation gave the City of Cleveland a $4 million gift, for the planned renovation of Public Square.
Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney said they made the contribution to jump start the project, and to encourage others to donate to it.
Mooney told Newsradio WTAM 1100, the grant is the largest gift they have given in the foundation's 45 year history. It brings the Public Square renovation project within $5 million of its goal of collecting $32 million.
"The redevelopment of Public Square will be one of the most significant projects in the city's history, and we are proud to be able to play a part in making it happen," said Mooney. "It will provide the kind of public space that acts as a magnet for residents and visitors. Years from now, Clevelanders will regard this project as one of the essential elements in the city's revitalization."
Tony Coyne, chairman of The Group Plan Commission, announced that in recognition of the grant's significance, the new walkway that will ring Public Square will be called the KeyBank Promenade.
KeyBank's gift also fulfills the requirements for a $1 million challenge grant from The Cleveland Foundation.
Mayor Frank Jackson praised KeyBank for its philanthropic and corporate leadership.
Jackson told Newsradio WTAM 1100, this will allow work to begin as the remaining funds are collected. The transformation is to be completed before the 2016 Republican National Convention.
"The City of Cleveland is fortunate to have great companies like KeyBank, which has a long history of providing critical support to important local projects and organizations," Jackson said. "This will give every Clevelander the world-class public space they deserve and will be a great emblem for the City when the GOP attracts the world's attention here in 2016."
Maintenance and programming of the revitalized Public Square is a priority of The Group Plan Commission. The $4 million grant includes $500,000 for the long-term maintenance of Public Square.
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(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)