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Innovative chef Ryan Santos finds spot for a brick-and-mortar restaurant

For the past four years, chef Ryan Santos has hosted pop-up dinners under the name Please. In a Soapbox interview in February, he said he’d finally decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant and was looking at locations in Columbia-Tusculum, East Walnut Hills and Over-the-Rhine.

Santos has now settled on a spot at the corner of 14th and Clay streets in Over-the-Rhine, where he plans to open his restaurant, also called Please.
The space is small, with seating for 25 plus 10 at the bar, which will be separate from the main dining area. The building is currently being renovated by Urban Sites and will have four apartments on upper floors.
Santos’ pop-up dinners usually consist of five-course dinners with artistic and experimental food and featuring local ingredients. He will carry this into the restaurant’s menu, which will feature three- or five-course meals that change with the seasons based on the availability of local ingredients.
The bar menu will feature cocktails made with fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables as well as a small a la carte menu.
Please is slated to open in the late spring. Pop-up dinners will cease once the restaurant opens, but Santos plans to continue private dinners for customers that he cooks in their home.

Another new townhouse development planned for OTR

In June Maestro Development/Daniels Homes acquired a number of properties near the corner of West 15th and Elm streets in Over-the-Rhine, where the developer has announced plans to construct nine 3,600-square-foot townhomes.
Five units will be built on the north side of 15th Street, and the other four will be built on the south side. Each unit will be three stories, except one that will have four floors. The units will all be LEED Silver certified, with two-car garages located off the rear alleys.
The project will be completed in three phases, with the five north-side units to be constructed first and the four on the south side as phase II. Four of the first five units have already been purchased, with prices ranging from about $650,000 to $1 million.
Phase I is expected to be completed in late 2016, with phase II completed in mid-2017. Phase III includes redeveloping the former Washington Park Firehouse at 222 W. 15th St. into a private residence for Jim Daniels, manager of Daniels Homes.
The 15,000-square-foot building has a garage on the first floor, and the top floor will become a penthouse-style loft. Plans for the second floor are still up in the air but could include office space or more residential living space.

The new townhomes will be adjacent to a Towne Properties development that will feature seven townhomes at 15th and Elm.
Montgomery-based Maestro Development/Daniels Homes has constructed homes for about 20 Homearama shows and is finishing up redevelopment of a historic home at 1405 Elm St.

Noble Denim founders open Victor Athletics storefront, partner for Brush Factory launch

Noble Denim clothing has been sold online and exclusively at Article in Over-the-Rhine since 2012, but on Nov. 21 its founders will open a nearby storefront for their denim as well as for their new brand, Victor Athletics. This next step was made possible due to a Kickstarter campaign that launched in the spring and raised over $120,000.
Like Noble, Victor will offer American-made, organic clothing — specifically athletic-based items like sweatshirts, jogger pants and T-shirts. The Noble team focuses on organic clothing because, just like food, cotton is grown using a number of pesticides that can damage clothing in the long run.
Although the average consumer’s buying habits haven’t changed as much when it comes to purchasing organic clothing, Noble and Victor hope to shine a light on the benefits of organic clothing. They’re interested in sourcing cotton that lessens the impact on workers and is grown without pesticides and other chemicals.
Noble and Victor are also committed to American-made products.
“Victor really came to be because our factory in Tennessee wanted more work and wanted to grow their workforce and Noble Denim customers were looking for items at a lower price point than our jeans,” says co-founder Abby Sutton, who started Noble with her husband, Chris.
The 987-square-foot Victor Athletics Club is on the ground floor of Beasley Place, a mixed-income apartment project at Republic and 14th Streets developed by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing. The majority of Victor’s clothing is under $100, including a crewneck sweatshirt for $30 and a hoodie for $70. The storefront will also have a sewing area where workers will make totes in-store from American-made canvas.
Although Noble and Victor will both be available at the new store, the team’s primary goal is to grow Victor online.
“Our generation goes online first,” Sutton says. “But that in-person experience is so important, especially for a brand that wants to grow online.”

Noble/Victor is partnering with another successful startup, Brush Factory, to sell that company’s first collection of solid hardwood furniture, BFF. A soft launch of the furniture line is scheduled for 4-10 p.m. on Black Friday (Nov. 27) at Victor Athletics Club.

Brush Factory won the 2015 ArtWorks Big Pitch competition in August, while Noble Denim won the same competition in 2014.
Once open, Victor Athletics Club hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

New contemporary art gallery opens in Over-the-Rhine

Art enthusiast Rachael Moore has opened Cincinnati Art Underground, a contemporary art gallery, at 1415 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine. The gallery’s first show, Delicate Fractures, debuted Nov. 13, featuring work by glass artist Jacci Delaney, ceramics artist Didem Mert and painter Katie St. Clair.
“Cincinnati is so full of artists, and I wanted to be another space for artists to show their work and help start conversations with other artists,” Moore says.
Before opening a physical space, Moore held two pop-up galleries that allowed her to work closely with artists and bring a collaborative environment to the events. She wanted to open a storefront because it would make it easier for people to find the gallery.
Moore describes the 800-square-foot Cincinnati Art Underground space as a boutique gallery rather than a typical white box gallery. Its colorfully painted walls help accent the artwork and draw in the viewer’s attention. Shows will change every six to eight weeks, and every piece on display is for sale.
“There’s this dichotomy between serious and beautiful art, and I’m trying to go down the middle with approachable art,” Moore says. “I want to inspire people to learn more. Not everyone will like every piece of art they see, but I want to help people find what they like.”
To help with that, Cincinnati Art Underground will host studio talks to give artists a chance to mingle with art lovers and potential clients and share their process and inspiration. Moore also plans to offer concierge art services and work with interior designers to help customers find the perfect piece of art for their space.
“I really want to connect more people with art,” she says. “The community is so involved in the arts, whether it be through theater, music or physical art. I want to help bring more people to visual art and educate them about visual art.”
Cincinnati Art Underground’s hours are 12-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday or by appointment. Delicate Fractures runs through Jan. 2.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company sets the stage for new OTR theater

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has started a $17 million capital campaign to construct a new theater/rehearsal/office complex at the site of the former Drop Inn Center at 12th and Elm Streets in Over-the-Rhine, increasing programming from 272 days and nights per year to 360 days and nights per year. CSC has been renting theater and office space at 719 Race St.
The theater — which is being named for Otto M. Budig, a longtime CSC patron — will add one more piece to OTR’s arts corridor around Washington Park, joining Music Hall, Memorial Hall and the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

A large portion of the necessary capital funds were raised during the private portion of the campaign, with only about $4 million still needed to move the project forward.

Plans for the 27,855-square-foot-theater have been about two years in the making and include adding about 100 seats, increasing current capacity from 150 to 244. The thrust stage will jut out into the audience, and the aisles between seats will allow actors to move among the audience during shows. A balcony is planned, but no seat will be further than 20 feet from the stage.
On the outside, the building will resemble the National Theater in London with glass walls facing the street, allowing passersby a look inside. The actors’ rehearsal space will also serve as a second theater for smaller performances or special events.
The inside will be modeled after the Globe Theater, which was designed by Shakespeare himself. Indoor lighting will mimic starlight, and there will be 38 steps connecting the two floors to represent each of the Bard’s plays.
The theater ceiling will be tall enough to allow for multi-level seats and scenery. Currently, sets are constructed outside of the Race Street theater, disassembled and reassembled once they’re inside. There will be an on-site scene shop in the historic Teamsters building that adjoins the Drop Inn site, and the theater will include an actual backstage area, trap space under the stage and wing space with lighting as well as a classroom for educational programming.

For patrons, the Otto M. Budig Theatre will feature a more spacious lobby than CSC’s current location, additional restrooms, a separate box office and a bar. All patron amenities will be in full ADA compliance.
Three buildings stand at the site of the Drop Inn Center, which will be demolished at the beginning of the year to make way for Cincinnati Shakespeare’s new home. Construction is projected to begin in April, and the troupe should be able to take possession in July 2017, just in time for the start of its 24th season.

Oakley Cycles moving to Mariemont, rebranding as Fifty West Cycling Company

Oakley Cycles will move to Mariemont Crossing in January to rebrand as Fifty West Cycling Company, part of Fifty West Brewing Company’s expansion plans as well as an opportunity for the cycling group to be on the Little Miami Scenic Trail
“We were looking for a new location that would give us the opportunity to offer more than just bikes and accessories,” says owner David Ariosa. “We wanted a location where we could offer customers a complete cycling experience.”
The Little Miami Trail connects to Fifty West Cycling’s parking lot and will allow Aroisa to provide all kinds of fun cycling experiences such as rentals, cycling lessons, corporate outings, charity events and specialty rides for casual and more serious recreational riders.
Fifty West Cycling will continue its bike advocacy programs, raising awareness about cycling in the community. The new space, located at 7669 Wooster Pike, will also have an outdoor seating space and offer drinks, energy bars and snacks.

Aroisa hopes that the new location becomes a center for family-friendly cycling fun.
“We’re very excited to be associated with Fifty West, which shares our passion for providing an experience to customers,” he says. “It’s not just a piece of machinery or a glass of beer. We’re on the same journey, and it made sense to team up.”
Oakley Cycles has been in business for 34 years and is known for its personalized, consultative approach to professionally outfitting cyclists of all ages and skill levels as well as repairing and selling bikes and accessories.

ArtWorks hosts Ink Your Love fundraiser to close year-long celebration

ArtWorks is hosting a fundraiser Nov. 20 for the Ink Your Love campaign, the year-long celebration of why Cincinnatians love Cincinnati. Part of the project was penning a poem, “Seven Hills and a Queen to Name Them,” and tattooing it on 263 people.
The poem was written by Chase Public from more than 1,000 submissions from residents who answered the question: “Why do you love Cincinnati?” It was then broken into 263 words and phrases, and project artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova designed tattoos that were then inked by One Shot Tattoo.
The poem also inspired 54 larger-than-life murals and mini art installations around the city. This part of the project was launched just in time for the MLB All-Star Game in July; installations can be found on buildings, skyways, bars and restaurants around town.
The Nov. 20 event is being held at the Renaissance Hotel downtown and will feature a custom cocktail by Molly Wellmann as well as dishes from a number of Cincinnati chefs and music from the March Madness Marching Band and Fresh Funk. It will also be the first time that the full Cincinnati Tattoo Project video is shown.
Fundraiser attendees will be able to take a one-of-a-kind piece of art home with them. A group of Cincinnati graphic design artists created 36 different prints inspired by the poem, and local artist Pam Kravetz teamed up with Rookwood Pottery to create six plate designs featuring a line from the CincyInk poem.  
Tickets start at $150 and are available here.  
Ink Your Love was made possible through the work of 75 artists and creative partners from ArtWorks, eight ArtWorks youth apprentices and 45 community partners and sponsors.

Duke Energy Holiday Trains return to Cincinnati for 70th year

Now in its 70th year, the Holiday Junction exhibit featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains just opened at the Cincinnati Museum Center with working model trains on display throughout the holiday season. 
The exhibit has been a Cincinnati staple since 1946. It’s one of the largest portable models in the world and features authentic “O” gauge trains, which means that a quarter inch of the model is equivalent to one foot on a real train. All of the rail cars, tracks and buildings are 1/48 actual size, and while on display the trains will travel more than 100,000 scale miles.
A few changes have been made to Holiday Junction this year, including adding a raised platform around the exhibit so everyone can view the trains. There is also more family-friendly programming than ever before.
Members of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana LEGO Users Group have built a 12-by-24-Ft. LEGO train and landscape, which includes Cincinnati landmarks and 100 mini figures with characters like Spiderman, Batman, Ghostbusters and the Scooby-Doo gang.
Also new this year is a rare Carlisle & Finch Company train set that dates to 1904. The model includes the train and the trolley as well as overhead wires. Carlisle & Finch was headquartered in Cincinnati and invented the first electric toy train in 1896 — it featured metal cars and a train that ran on metal rails set two inches apart. At the start of WWI, the company was ordered to stop toy train production and focus on making searchlights for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, and although Carlisle & Finch never returned to building toy trains its legacy lives on.
Returning this year is Pogie and Patter Super Spectacular Holiday Fun Hour, a train ride, the observation deck that overlooks the trains and an expanded gift shop with trains and other toys. Santa will arrive just in time to light the Union Terminal Christmas Tree at 11 a.m. on Nov. 27.
Rocky Mountain Express is showing at the OMNIMAX Theater, celebrating the age of the steam engine and construction of the railroad through the Canadian Rockies.
Admission to Holiday Junction is included in the All Museums Pass ($14.50 for adults, $10.50 for children) or to the Cincinnati History Museum ($10.50 for adults, $8.50 for children). Duke Energy customers can go online and print off a special code for free admission to the Holiday Junction.
Holiday Junction is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, with some extended Saturday hours. Museum Center is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day but is open New Year’s Day. The display continues through Jan. 3.
Check out the Cincinnati Museum Center’s website for a list of other holiday-themed events. There’s sure to be something for everyone!

Fountain Square ice rink opens early with new events and features

The U.S. Bank Ice Rink on Fountain Square opened on Halloween, 21 days earlier than last year. Along with the longer season, the rink boasts a number of new features for the holidays.
Like other outdoor rinks across the country, the U.S. Bank rink uses a special type of ice that stays solid at temperatures of up to 65 degrees. This helps the rink stay open even on unseasonably warm days and allows 3CDC, which manages the rink, to extend the skating season.
A 60-foot warming tent was added adjacent to the rink, and the skate rental booth doubled in size along with double the number of skates available to rent. A larger concessions tent with an expanded menu has debuted as well.
3CDC also expanded the programming offered at the rink, including weekly theme nights in November and December:

After School Special 2-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays through Nov. 26: Students under 18 receive free skate rental and can watch cartoons on the Fifth Third Bank LED Video Board

Meet Your Match 5-10 p.m. Mondays through Nov. 23: Show your online dating profile for free skate rental

Bowling on Ice 5-10 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 17: Human bowling on ice; bring two non-perishable food items for free skate rental and bowling pass, with proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul

Watch It & Wear It Wednesday 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 25: Catch a Disney movie on the video board and come dressed as your favorite character for a chance to win a prize; films include Frozen, Toy Story and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

College Night 5-10 p.m. Thursdays through Nov. 19: Show your school ID for free skate rental

Santa Skates 12-1 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays Nov. 28 to Dec. 20
Macy's Light Up the Square is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27.

The rink is open 12-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 18, with extended hours on Thanksgiving Day and the day before. Holiday hours (Dec. 19-Jan. 4) will be 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Hours will change again for the remainder of the skating season (Jan. 4-Feb. 15).
Admission to the rink is $6, and skate rental is $4.
For a full schedule as well as special holiday skates and post-holiday events, visit Fountain Square’s website.

Cincinnati's first streetcar begins testing phase this weekend

Now that Cincinnati’s first streetcar has arrived in town, what’s next?
The initial vehicle, which arrived Oct. 30, will be put through its first “dead pull” on Sunday, Nov. 8, meaning it will be towed through the motions, ensuring that the mechanics, wheels and rails are working correctly. Assuming all goes well with that testing, the next step is operating under its own power.
Both series of tests will be done on the Over-the-Rhine loop around Washington Park north to Findlay Market.
“The arrival of the streetcar represents a big milestone for the project,” says Rocky Merz, director of communications for the city. “It also represents the turning of the page and a new phase of the project. There is much that needs to happen before passenger service.”
As the streetcar starts moving along the tracks, pedestrians and drivers have to get used to having the streetcar around. The transportation infrastructure of Cincinnati is changing, which means that other things need to change too. Signage will soon be added along the 3.6-mile loop throughout OTR and downtown to help Cincinnatians navigate with the streetcars.
In total, there will be five streetcars. The next two are expected to arrive before the end of the year, with the final two vehicles arriving in the spring. Each streetcar vehicle will go through the same testing processes, logging 300 hours of safe travel before passengers are allowed to ride.
The Cincinnati Streetcar project is currently on time and on budget, though delays could arise once the cars are put on the rails. Passenger service is expected to begin in September.

Price Hill Will introduces film festival to start conversations on social justice

Price Hill will showcase a number of regional and national films Nov. 21 at the inaugural Warsaw Ave. Film Festival. The free event will feature a selection of documentaries on social justice as well as films made in or about Price Hill.
Kevin Burke, professor of electronic media at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, and Dr. Lisa Wagner Crews, assistant professor of communication and new media studies at Mount St. Joseph University, will kick off the evening at 5 p.m. with a discussion about films and social justice.
Film screenings will begin at 6 p.m., with showings on both the first and second floors of the historic Warsaw Firehouse, 3120 Warsaw Ave.
The film lineup includes 16 shorts and webisodes, as well as two 45-minute films and three feature-length films from Dayton, L.A., Montreal, San Diego and Austin, Tex.:

Roots in Concrete sheds light on the unspoken lives of African-American women killed by senseless violence due to society’s misconception; created by Allison A. Waite, winner of the 2015 Princess Grace HBO Film Award

• Young Urban Perspectives depicts the civil unrest that occurred in Cincinnati, spearheaded by the murder of Timothy Thomas in 2001; created by Lamonte Young and the Teen Arts Council, winner of the 2002 Blue Chip Award for Best Documentary

Stop the Violence explores causes and effects of recent violence in Cincinnati; directed by Ken Powell and Adam Steele

Business As (un)Usual highlights the challenges that people with developmental disabilities face; created by Katie Bachmeyer and the Starfire Council

Women Who Yell offers women’s responses to the negative representation of women in the media; created by Megan Hague

Tap & Screw Brewery will provide beer and light appetizers, and the Guatemalan Chefs Collective will serve homemade tamales.
The festival will also serve as the debut of Price Hill Will’s Story Share project, which will feature films by young videographers from Cincinnati mentored by PHW’s Young. Movies focus on the life stories of Price Hill residents and business owners and City of Cincinnati leaders.

"Price Hill Story Share is a two-year project that was created with the intent to engage more residents and show the diversity of the community and to capture their personal experiences, visions for the future and the sharing of diverse cultures to become better inclusive as a community through media and storytelling," Young says. 

The project consists of two components, Community Storytelling and Block Swap, which involved capturing residents on video with the purpose of having public screenings of the finished works. Young assisted with place-based moments and activities surrounding Block Swap, a community clean-up with residents from Lower, East and West Price Hill picking up trash on the streets and vacant lots of each neighborhood.

New Cincinnati development company planning townhouses in OTR

Karvoto, a new Cincinnati development company, is planning to renovate four existing buildings and construct five new townhouses in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. The nine units will become part of Hillman Point OTR, a multi-phase residential development.
Existing buildings at 221 and 229 Kemp Alley and 206 and 212 Wade Street will be renovated, and new townhouses will be constructed at 223, 225 and 227 Kemp and at 208 and 210 Wade. An existing building at 214 Wade will be renovated as part of the development’s proposed second phase.
Karvoto purchased most of the properties from an affiliate of Urban Sites in February, while 208 Wade, which is the last piece of the puzzle, is owned by an affiliate of 3CDC and is currently under contract.
The townhouses will range in size from 2,050 to just over 2,700 square feet and cost between $500,000 and $600,000. Each unit will have three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, with open main floors, gourmet kitchens, balconies, rooftop decks and hardwood and tile throughout.
Karvoto plans to break ground on the $4 million development after the first of the year.
Karvoto was founded in early 2015 by Luke Bennett and his brother, Rob, who also own Custom Carving Source, a Cincinnati-based contracting company.

Columbia-Tusculum residents investing in the neighborhood with new brewery

Garrett Hickey has been homebrewing with his dad, Brian, for a number of years, and the hobby eventually led to brewing school in Sunderland, England, at Brewlab. He’s also worked on the canning line at MadTree Brewing and is currently a brewer at Rivertown Brewing.

And by next fall, the Hickey family will open Streetside Brewery in Columbia-Tusculum.
Streetside will sit on the site of the former East End Cafe, which closed in 2010 after a fire. Due to structural issues, the Hickeys demolished the building and will lay the foundation for their brewery in its place. On the inside, the space will be very industrial, with brick walls and wooden tables scattered throughout. 
The taproom will face the street and will open onto an outdoor patio. The brewery will be in the lower level of the building, but because of the grade of the building customers will have a birds’ eye view of the tanks and other equipment from the taproom.
“We want to appeal to families as well as the more seasoned craft beer drinker,” says Garrett’s mom, Kathie, who will have the most face-to-face interaction with customers.
Streetside will have about 12 taps featuring both Streetside beers and guest brews. There will also be a dedicated cider tap and wine available for those who aren’t huge beer fans. When the brewery opens, Kathie says there will for sure be a Belgian pale ale, an IPA and a robust porter on tap.
There will be a light bites menu too, with easy-to-make items like flatbreads and pretzels. Down the road, Kathie wants to partner with local food trucks to widen their food offerings.
The Hickeys are Columbia-Tusculum residents who are investing in their community, hoping to help strengthen it. Streetside will be around the corner from Blank Slate Brewery, and if all goes according to plan both breweries will be just steps from the Oasis Bike Trail.
“Because of our location in Columbia-Tusculum, we’re hoping to be a meeting place for the community as well as a destination for those that don’t live in the neighborhood,” Kathie says. “We want to help bring Eastern Avenue back to a community-oriented area that is welcoming to everyone.”
Keep tabs on Streetside updates via Instagram and Twitter.

New Riff to host festival celebrating Kentucky beer and spirits

The first Holler Festival will be held at New Riff Distillery Nov. 7 to feature craft breweries and distilleries that call the state of Kentucky home. Hosted by Ei8ht Ball Brewing and New Riff, the event not only celebrates Kentucky-made products but also demonstrates what it means to be a Kentucky brewery or distillery.
Kentucky bourbon is celebrated around the world for its flavor, say event organizers, due to the region's water, grains, air and people.
Featured breweries will include Against the Grain, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company, Blue Stallion Brewing, Braxton Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, Ei8ht Ball, Good Wood Beer, Monnik Beer Co., Rooster Brewing and West Sixth Brewing. Distilleries will include Barrel House Distilling, Copper & Kings American Brandy, Corsair Distillery, The Gentleman Distillery, Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, New Riff, Old Pogue Distillery, Second Sight Spirits, Wilderness Trail Distillery and Willett Distillery.
New Riff opened adjacent to The Party Source in 2014 and is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Many Holler organizers are members of the Kentucky Distillers' Association and the Kentucky Guild of Brewers — both groups work to support, enhance and grow the craft communities of spirits and beer in Kentucky.
Tickets are $50, which includes beer and spirits samples, appetizers and a special edition glass. The festival is for ages 21 and up; you can pre-order tickets here.
All Holler Festival proceeds will benefit Renaissance Covington.

National sustainability team researching LEED-ND possibilities in Northside

Northside is one of six neighborhoods across the country that received a grant from the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, which is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the grant, each community will receive free sustainable neighborhood planning and design consultation from Global Green USA in order to determine if LEED for Neighborhood Development is feasible.
This year’s grant will also help neighborhoods in Memphis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis. Northside is Global Green’s 24th neighborhood in three years.
The Global Green team conducted a three-day visit in Northside last week, including a meeting with representatives from the business district and other stakeholders, a community meeting and a walking tour of the neighborhood.
In order to be considered for the grant, a community must meet certain criteria, including a project that’s considered a catalytic development for LEED-ND. In Northside, it’s the proposed transit hub behind Django Western Taco on Blue Rock Road in what is today a parking lot controlled by the Northside Business Association.
“Sustainability has many angles,” says Walker Wells, member of the Global Green team. “It’s walkability, which is not just using cars or burning fossil fuels but also supporting local businesses.”
The transit hub would serve the eight bus lines that converge in Northside. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) recently purchased two pieces of property behind the parking lot and is working with MSA Architects on the plans.
Loosely, the idea is to create a two-way bus street with 6-8 bays for buses. It would be a clean, safe area for bus riders and drivers as well as pedestrians.
After each visit, the team makes recommendations for infrastructure and policy changes aimed at helping build a future that’s more resource-efficient, livable, healthy, equitable and environmentally responsible.
“We will identify the assets, challenges and opportunities in Northside and make suggestions to make those assets better and how to address the challenges and opportunities as well as who would help achieve them,” Wells says.

Global Green will present their findings in a month, and from there Northside will decide the next steps to take. LEED-ND certification is an expensive and lengthy process, and to date Global Green has only certified proposed plans or parts of projects, not entire projects.
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