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Kirby School Apartments to host open house for former students & teachers, prospective tenants


Built in 1910, Kirby Road School served as a Cincinnati Public School until 2012. CPS sold the facility to Bloomfield/Schon+Partners, which is redeveloping the 50,000-square-foot building into Kirby School Apartments.
 
The project will yield 40 units, a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The units range from 560 to 2,000 square feet, ranging in price from $680 to $1,400 per month.
 
Amenities include exposed ductwork, high-end slate kitchen appliances, granite countertops, wood cabinetry, washers/dryers and high ceilings. As the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bloomfield/Schon is working to preserve much of its character, including the hardwood floors, Rookwood fountains, cabinets and chalkboards.
 
Landscaping around the building will remain part of the historic features, with open green space instead of a courtyard.
 
A 60-space parking lot behind the building will be gated and will allow for off-street parking for residents. All of the outside entrances to the building are accessible from the parking lot.
 
Three studio apartments are located in the old library, which is lofted above the third floor, and three lofts are in the school’s former gymnasium. They each have 22-foot ceilings, and two of them have 1.5 bathrooms.  
 
Kirby School will host a public open house 4-7 p.m. June 1. The tour is meant to give the neighborhood a peek at what’s been going on and attract potential residents as well as bring back former students and teachers.
 

Former veterinarian switches careers to open online bakery


Ryan Carneson, a former veterinarian, moved with his family to the U.S. from South Africa on a medical visa. While living in Los Angeles, Carneson decided to switch careers and attended the Art Institute of California, where he graduated with honors with an Associate Science Degree in Baking and Pastry.
 
“I’ve enjoyed both of my careers very much,” Carneson says. “I loved being around animals and working with them, but pastry gives me a chance to express my artistic side. I have the freedom to create and design beautiful things. I love taking the raw ingredients and turning them into something beautiful.”
 
Carneson grew up helping his mother in the kitchen, but culinary wasn’t really an option for him in South Africa. But once in the U.S., he had the chance to start his culinary education and he began in savory and then moved to pastry.
 
The Carnesons relocated to Cincinnati in 2015 to be near Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for their son’s medical treatments. Carneson decided that he wanted to establish himself in the community and decided to start his own business, Indulgence by Ryan.
 
The online bakery is operated by Carneson and his wife Lydia and specializes in custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, desserts and a variety of chocolate creations. Carneson’s favorite things to make are chocolate eclairs and children’s cakes.
 
Carneson says that in the future he’d love to open a brick-and-mortar bakery that features all types of baked goods, including homemade breads. It might be a sit-down coffee bar, where customers can come in and order a coffee and enjoy a pastry too.
 
There isn’t a timeline in mind, but Carneson says maybe early next year, as they’re still getting their young family settled in Cincinnati.
 

Five Points Alley mural pays homage to Walnut Hills


Five Points Alley in Walnut Hills has undergone a major facelift over the past year. The area was resurfaced with a stable, pervious aggregate, and electricity and lighting were installed. It hosts the Five Points Alley Biergarten, it will soon be the home of Gomez Salsa and it’s the site of a new mural from BLDG.
 
The mural, titled Wind!, portrays chaste and stoic faces of Walnut Hills residents that over time are chipped away by wind to reveal the windblown faces of the same residents. BLDG knew of a similar project by local photographer Jon Bob; designers blew it up and created a larger-than-life project that’s now installed on the walls of Five Points Alley.
 
Wind! is a reminder to look underneath what is readily apparent in order to find the bright, playful and whimsical potential underneath,” says Sarah Dotter, events and public outreach coordinator for Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation.
 
Before its redevelopment, Five Points Alley was a forgotten space that has been reclaimed and rejuvenated by Walnut Hills.
 
“Under all of the litter, brush, illegal dumping and criminal activity was a space waiting to become a place,” Dotter says.
 
More art will be coming to Five Points Alley in the next few months. BLDG plans to paint a large mural on the side of Gomez Salsa, and this summer ArtWorks will paint the last of its five wayfinding murals (designed by international artists and installed by BLDG) on the side of the Race Refrigeration building, which faces downtown.
 
The mural will be unveiled May 5 during the Cinco at Cinco at Cinco event at Five Points Alley. There will be tacos and turtles from Gomez Salsa, Rhinegeist and Urban Artifact beer for sale and live music by Mambo Combo from 5 to 9 p.m. The Walnut Hills qualifier of Supersize Jenga for the Cincinnati Neighborhood Games will also take place during the event.
 

ReNewport calls for mini grant applications


The city of Newport unveiled its ReNewport Quality of Life Plan earlier this year, outlining six categories that the community wants to see improvement upon by the year 2025: education; healthy, safety and wellness; housing; economic development; parks, recreation and beautification; and community engagement. After two years of planning, these goals were announced to the public in March.
 
Newport has now established a mini grant program to help start the process of implementing ReNewport. The grants will help fund community engagement efforts for Newport residents who want to help advance the program’s goals.
 
Applications are now being accepted for the first round of mini grants. All projects must center on improving the quality of life in Newport, and all applicants must either live or work in Newport. Grants are available in amounts up to $500. Two or more groups that work together on a single project can submit one grant application and request a maximum of $750 for their joint project.
 
Funding for the mini grants is made possible through LISC Place Matters.
 
The first round of mini grant applications are due by May 31, the second round of applications by Aug. 31 and the third round by Nov. 30.  

If you have a project idea, download the mini grant application here.
 

Good Food Fund gives grants to six local food-related projects


The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council recently awarded six local food-related projects a total of $39,500 through its Cincy Good Food Fund, which is designed to support innovative and promising projects that can make a positive impact on Cincinnati’s food system.
 
Cincinnati Public Schools received $6,600 for its Aeroponic School Garden Pilot Program, which will test the potential of incorporating education about nutritious food into its curriculum by using indoor aeroponic gardens. The gardens will help students learn how to grow and harvest fresh food year-round. 
 
La Soupe’s Cincinnati Gives a Crock Cooking Classes received a total of $8,800. The grant money will allow La Soupe to expand its high school education program, which helps kids from food insecure families learn to create tasty, fresh and nutritious meals from food donated from local food businesses and farmers.
 
Northside Farmers Market’s Summer SNAP Outreach Pilot Program received $9,000 for its multi-pronged approach to reduce the barriers for those who use SNAP benefits to access fresh food at Northside Farmers Market.
 
The Ohio Valley Food Connection received $5,000 to help increase the availability of fresh, locally produced food through an online food hub that will facilitate the logistics of farm-to-table.
 
An $8,000 grant was awarded to Our Harvest’s Winter Harvest Day Food Access Program. Through the grant money, Our Harvest will increase the availability of its Harvest Day Program, which provides affordable fresh fruit and vegetables at natural distribution points like schools, churches and community centers.
 
A grant for $2,100 was awarded to the St. Leo the Great Church Community Garden. The project will help address food insecurity and community engagement by establishing a community garden in North Fairmount.
 
The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council helps bring together multiple stakeholders from the region’s food system to develop position statements, recommend policies and support initiatives that promote a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system.
 

Cincinnati Public Schools announcement puts Vision 2020 plans into motion


Seven Cincinnati Public Schools are getting updated curriculum for the next school year, the first changes in a five-year plan, called Vision 2020, to help bring greater equity, access and opportunity for all district students.
 
Traditionally, CPS has been divided into magnet schools and neighborhood schools. Magnets are harder to get into and often involve a citywide lottery for admission, while neighborhood school enrollment is based on where students live. Vision 2020 intends to break down these divisions and add specialty programming to neighborhood schools as well as some magnet schools.
 
Next year, Chase Elementary School in Northside and Woodford Paideia Academy in Kennedy Heights will have new art and culture programs. With the new fine arts initiative throughout the district, students at Chase will play in a band and students at Woodford will play in an orchestra.
 
An environmental science program will be enacted at Pleasant Hill Academy in College Hill. The school has access to about 18.5 acres of green space, and students will spend a lot of time learning outside.
 
A high-tech program will start at Hays-Porter Elementary in the West End, which will include online learning paired with traditional learning, and students will begin studying coding, robotics and gaming.
 
A gifted program will begin at Cheviot Elementary School, much like the gifted program at Hyde Park School. Student enterprise programs will also start at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy in Over-the-Rhine and Westwood Elementary School, where students will learn marketing and networking skills while designing and building new products.
 
Vision 2020 will expand during the 2017-18 school year and beyond, with other new programs starting across the district. A few ideas include building a high school ROTC program and creating a gender-based elementary school.
 
Program costs are being figured into CPS’ budget, but specific numbers won’t be available until May when the district presents its annual budget. 
 

Howl at the Moon returns to town to fill another empty space at The Banks


A new concept from an old favorite will open this summer at The Banks in the former Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill space along Second Street. Howl at the Moon music bar is collaborating with Splitsville Luxury Lanes to bring an entertainment venue and bowling alley to downtown.
 
Howl at the Moon was founded by Jimmy Bernstein in Greater Cincinnati, with its first location at Covington Landing opening in 1990. The Banks' location will be the company’s 18th across the U.S. and its second in the area. It will also be its second Howl at the Moon/Splitsville location, with the other one located outside of Boston.

"This is like a homecoming for Howl at the Moon," says Maggie Kmiecik, digital marketing coordinator for Howl at the Moon. "The show has changed so much since Howl was originally in Cincinnati, and so has the city. It's exciting to be back."

Howl at the Moon started out as a dueling piano bar, with two piano players who interacted with the crowd while playing covers. Things have changed, and the Howl at the Moon of today is an ever-changing show with two grand pianos and a full-time band that plays hits from the 1970s, '80s, '90s and '00s as well as other dance tunes.
 
The 16,000-square-foot space will be renovated into a bowling alley with live music and dueling pianos. The venue will be more family-friendly and event-driven than before, with the ability to host private events too. There will also be a food menu highlighted by hand-tossed pizzas, burgers and gourmet appetizers.
 
Keep tabs on Howl at the Moon & Splitsville’s Facebook page for updates. You can also sign up to get invited to the VIP Grand Opening here.
 

Entrepreneurs utilize Findlay Market to develop sandwich shop concept


Josh Dickerson and Tyler Retyi-Gazda have something in common: Their pipe dream is to open a restaurant. But before that happens, they’re looking to get honest feedback about their restaurant concept, Grind on the Rhine, which served at Findlay Market for the first time on April 16.
 
“Our concept involves cooking on the spot,” Dickerson says. “We’re focusing on fresh food and fresh ingredients.”
 
When dreaming up their concept, Dickerson and Retyi-Gazda knew that renting commercial kitchen space would be expensive, so they turned to Findlay Kitchen as a cost-effective alternative to make their dream happen.
 
The focus of Grind on the Rhine is po’ boys, a sandwich invented in New Orleans during a streetcar strike. With the streetcar coming soon to Over-the-Rhine and downtown, Dickerson and Retyi-Gazda thought po’ boys belonged in Cincinnati too. 
 
Ideally, Grind on the Rhine’s storefront will open within the year, but Dickerson says they want to focus on perfecting their menu first. That menu is small right now, but once a brick-and-mortar restaurant opens it will be expanded upon.
 
The Showcase Grinder is shaved sirloin, caramelized onion, arugula and honey mustard on a ciabatta baguette from Shadeau Breads. Another menu highlight is the Pulled Pork Shoulder, which is pulled pork shoulder topped with a mango habandero BBQ sauce and apple slaw, also on a ciabatta baguette from Shadeau. There’s also a Chicken Muffeleta, which is ham and salami finished with an olive tapanade.
 
Grind on the Rhine also has an All-Day Breakfast, which is bacon and egg that can be topped with tomato and arugula. All of the seasonings and sauces are made from scratch by Retyi-Gazda, who is the chef. Sides include homemade Saratoga chips made from sweet potatoes and purple potatoes and rice and quinoa with walnuts, craisins and lemon zest.
 
Dickerson says right now they’re focused on serving on weekends at Findlay Market until they get their sandwiches perfected, and then they’ll expand from there.
 

Civic Garden Center celebrates 74 years, builds community through gardening


Now in its 74th year, Civic Garden Center (CGC) is focused on building community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship. A number of different programs help educate the public about sustainable gardening and conservation at the grassroots level, which in turn improves Cincinnati’s little corner of the environment.
 
Its main program, community gardens, helps build community garden plots throughout Cincinnati’s core in mainly low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. There are about 60 community garden plots in the city, and volunteers who are mostly residents of those neighborhoods operate them.
 
“It takes more than one person to build a community, and it also takes a lot of people to garden,” says Jared Queen, director of development and marketing for CGC. “When people come together to do something bigger than themselves, it can give them a sense of purpose.”
 
The focus of the community garden plots is on fruits and vegetables, not flowers — the plots yield thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year, and a lot of it is in turn donated to Freestore Foodbank.
 
Along with the community garden program, CGC operates a school garden program at 90 different schools, churches and community organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati. The gardens are living and learning labs where students have the opportunity to leave the classroom and go into the garden to learn about nature, where food comes from and the life cycle of plants.
 
On top of that, CGC offers teacher education that’s free and focused on school gardening. The organization also donates seeds and other materials so schools can operate the gardens themselves.
 
“The mission of the school garden program is to help provide positive experiences in nature for students and teachers so they can become lifelong learners and lovers of nature,” says Mary Dudley, director of children’s education at CGC.
 
This fall, Mt. Auburn International Academy will receive a new $10,000 garden with 20 seeder raised beds. CGC is helping to restart the garden at Covedale Elementary School and adding two new beds at Silverton Paideia Academy. Shine Nurture Center in Mt. Airy is also receiving a garden courtesy of CGC. By next spring, there will be about 100 school gardens inside the I-275 loop.
 
When CGC moved to its current Avondale location in 1949, there was a gas station adjacent to the property that closed in the 1950s or ‘60s. CGC purchased the site in the 1980s but wasn’t able to raise capital to fix up the blighted property until 2007. The Green Learning Station opened on the spot in 2011 and is a fully functioning educational tool that helps teach kids and adults about sustainability and environmental science.
 
For example, the Metropolitan Sewer District contributed $600,000 so CGC could help educate the public on combined sewer overflow. Through the efforts at the Green Learning Station, Queen says that Cincinnati’s total amount of sewage dumped into natural freshwater ways has been decreased from 14 billion to 11 billion gallons.
 
In order to operate all of these programs free of charge, CGC has to receive grant money or hold fundraisers. Its largest fundraiser, THE Plant Sale, will be held May 6-8. This is the 56th year for the plant sale, which started as a plant swap between gardeners.
 
“This sale really speaks to our organization because it started at the grassroots level,” Queen says. “To this day, it’s still run by hundreds of volunteers and shows our humble beginnings as an organization.”
 
The sale starts Friday night with a ticketed preview event, which sells lots of tickets because the event doesn’t restock. Once a plant is gone, it’s gone. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday and is free to attend and open to the public.
 
There will be a wide variety of plants available, including herbs, fruits and vegetables, sun perennials, hastas and donated perennials at 17 different booths. In the tradition of how the event started, you can split a plant you grew at home and donate it to the sale, with all the profit going to CGC.
 
The Green Flea, which is a nod to City Flea, will be held the same weekend, featuring new and gently used gardening implements and decorations available for sale.
 
Tickets to the Friday preview event start at $75 and can be purchased here.
 

Neighborhood eateries are jumping on the outdoor dining bandwagon


Arnold’s Bar and Grill has been around since 1861, and with that long history comes a number of firsts, such as being one of downtown’s first outdoor dining spots. The courtyard between the two buildings has a retractable roof allowing the space to be open pretty much year-round.
 
Many other Greater Cincinnati restaurants have followed Arnold’s lead and now offer sidewalk, patio or rooftop dining. These are just a few of our favorites. Where do you go for outdoor eating?  
 
Downtown
One of Cincinnati’s newer restaurants, Americano Burger Bar, opened its patio just in time for baseball season. Plus it’s the only restaurant in the 84.51 building with outdoor seating. 545 Race St.
 
Over-the-Rhine
Che, which opened in January, recently added a tree-lined patio to its offerings. 1342 Walnut St.
 
Krueger’s Tavern is the only restaurant in OTR with rooftop dining. The space offers diners respite from the often-crowded neighborhood restaurants. 1211 Vine St.
 
Lachey’s Bar is known for its food as well as multiple TVs airing sporting events. Soon it will also be known for its patio, which is still under construction but slated to open soon. 56 E. 12th St.
 
Just when you thought Rhinegeist couldn’t get any better, they went and built a rooftop deck complete with a bar. The space is huge and includes heaters and great views of OTR. 1910 Elm St.
 
Uptown
Hang Over Easy boasts a back deck and lawn located between it and Bogart’s. Most days it’s just a lawn, but during special events it can host bands and different programming. 13 W. Charlton St., Corryville.
 
Mecklenburg Gardens, which recently celebrated 150 years in business, is the oldest operating restaurant in the area. Its outdoor beer garden has become a mainstay for regulars and newcomers alike. 302 E. University Ave., Corryville.
 
Northside
Under new ownership, Django Western Taco has seen some changes, but the back patio remains the same. Kick back, relax and enjoy a margarita and some tacos. 4046 Hamilton Ave.
 
The Littlefield is home to a wide variety of bourbon and small plates as well as a multi-level patio complete with fire pits for chilly nights. 3934 Spring Grove Ave.
 
Melt’s eclectic menu and community atmosphere pour out into its semi-covered patio at the back of the restaurant. 4165 Hamilton Ave.
 
Price Hill
Incline Public House sits at the top of the old incline route up into Price Hill, and so its covered outdoor patio offers great views of downtown and Northern Kentucky. 2601 W. Eighth St.
 
Hyde Park
The patio at Dutch’s has a backyard feel to it, complete with fire pits and a bocce court. You’ll feel like you’re having a cookout at home but somebody else made the burgers. 3378 Erie Ave.
 
Mt. Adams
The Rookwood’s multi-level deck, firepit and swings for adults adds to the historic charm of the former pottery factory, plus the patio has a great view of downtown. 1077 Celestial St.
 
Columbia-Tusculum
Pearl’s Bar doesn’t serve food, but its large outdoor patio surrounded by pine trees makes it just right for beer drinking. 3520 Eastern Ave.
 
East End
Eli’s BBQ has a backyard, lawn and picnic tables, which make lunch or dinner into a real picnic. If you’re there on the right night, you might catch some live music. 3313 Riverside Dr.
 
Newport
Hofbrauhaus is all German, inside and out. If you have a big group, head to the outdoor beer garden, where there’s additional seating and a lot more standing room. 200 E. Third St.

Pompilio's patio is home to the best bocce court in town, with the new season getting ready to start, and hosts live music on weekends. 600 Washington Ave.
 

Downtown Hamilton market rebrands with new owners


Stephen and Sheri Jackson opened Jackson’s Market and Deli last September at 160 High St. in Hamilton. Not only was the market one of the first tenants in the redeveloped Elder Beerman department store, but it also filled the fresh food gap in downtown.
 
The Jacksons recently sold their business to Kyla Rooney, a manager at Jackson’s since it opened, and her husband Jim, who rebranded the business as Alexander’s Market and Deli.
 
The city of Hamilton was named for Fort Hamilton, which was named after Alexander Hamilton. The Rooneys took that namesake one step further and named their business after him as well.
 
Alexander’s offers a selection of fresh produce and items to fill in the gaps between grocery trips, such as milk and eggs. The deli side of Alexander’s offers a variety of salads, sandwiches and wraps that are made to order for dine in or to go.
 
Menu highlights include the Hamilton Joes Club, which is turkey, ham, roast beef, American cheese, spring mix, onions, banana peppers and spicy brown mustard on your choice of freshly baked bread. There’s also the Alexander’s Club wrap, a whole wheat wrap filled with ham, turkey, American cheese, bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. You can also create your own salad, sandwich or wrap.
 
Besides the change in ownership, the Rooneys plan to bring in more locally produced items and increase the amount of organic produce offered. There are also plans to update the look and feel of the market and offer new programming to attract more customers on nights and weekends.
 
Alexander’s is open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. The deli is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday.
 
Stay tuned to Alexander’s Facebook page for updates and events.
 

Casual Pint craft beer bar opening next month in Oakley


Cincinnati has seen a craft beer resurgence over the past few years. With about 20 breweries operating in the area now, it’s hard to imagine there’s room for more, though it can still be hard sometimes to find local craft beer favorites around town other than at their taproom.
 
Craft beer bars are filling that niche, and another one plans to open at the end of May. Casual Pint will be located at 3200 Vandercar Way in Oakley by the new Kroger, with the goal of becoming “where beer lovers meet.”
 
“Casual Pint wants to be the local spot where people who love beer meet up to have a glass of beer and talk about beer,” says Jillian King, who franchised the Oakley location along with her parents and her husband Matthew.
 
The first location outside of Tennessee opened at Loveland Station earlier this year.
 
Casual Pint is a craft beer market that first opened in 2011 in Knoxville’s Bearden neighborhood, with another location following in 2012 in downtown Knoxville. There are currently 10 Casual Pint locations in Tennessee and Ohio, with 10 more coming online soon.
 
“Matt and I were customers at the original Casual Pint, and we grew to love craft beer,” King says. “We got my parents into it, and we thought Cincinnati would be a great market for Casual Pint.”
 
Customers can sit down and order a pint or two of beer or get a growler to take home. There’s also the Pick 6 option, where customers can choose six different bottles from the cooler or shelves to take home.
 
The Oakley location will have 36 ever-rotating taps featuring a number of local beers as well as regional and national favorites. There will also be a small food menu so customers can grab a bite to eat.
 

New U-Square restaurant puts a fresh spin on French fries, hopes to grow into national chain


Scott Nelowet spent 20 years as an educator but decided that he wanted to branch out into the food business. While on a trip to Europe with his wife, Nelowet saw that Belgian fry stands and herring stands were everywhere.
 
“I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel but bring something back to the States that was working well over there,” Nelowet says.
 
He launched his Belgian-style loaded fry business at a vegan festival, where he concocted a vegan cheese sauce that festival goers loved. Nelowet outsold all of the other food booths at the festival and did a few others to get experience under his belt.
 
He launched French Fry Heaven as a snack brand in Jacksonville, Fla. in Fall 2011. It featured frozen fries and a variety of toppings and succeeded as such in shopping malls. But he wanted to think bigger.
 
“I got together a group of consultants who suggested that we get out of malls and do everything fresh,” Nelowet says. “So that’s what we did.”
 
French Fry Heaven’s menu now features fresh hand-cut fries, potato chips and baked potatoes that are topped with a slew of toppings, sauces and salts, all of which are sourced from local produce and made fresh in-house.
 
The restaurant at U-Square adjacent to the University of Cincinnati is about 2,600 square feet and features an expansive dining room as well as a to-go and delivery option. Menu highlights include the Buffalo Chicken, Garlic Chicken Parmesan and Pulled Pork, which is smoked in-house and topped with jalapenos and French Fry Heaven’s homemade cheese sauce. And it’s not all French fries — they’re also known for chicken tenders and smoothies.
 
You can customize any dish with any of French Fry Heaven’s 20 different dips and sea salt add-ons, including the spiciest option: a ghost pepper salt.
 
There’s a separate vegetarian menu that replaces the meat with cheese curds, which Nelowet says has the same flavor profile as the meat but within their dietary restrictions.
 
“Cincinnati will be the birthplace of the new French Fry Heaven,” Nelowet says.

From here, he hopes to franchise locations all across the country and revamp the existing snack stand locations to include this new menu. Many of the restaurants will feature a local craft beer list, but because Ohio's beer license and liquor license are one and the same Nelowet chose not to offer alcohol at the Cincinnati location.
 
French Fry Heaven is open 11 a.m.-3 a.m. daily at 206 Calhoun St.
 

Center for Great Neighborhoods hosts six-month "makers" class with small business specialist


Covington’s Center for Great Neighborhoods hosted a makers workshop last weekend for small businesses led by Ashley Berger Heyburn of Makers Megaphone, who is also an Etsy Small Business Specialist. Over the next six months, she will work with 11 Covington-based businesses to help them better market and grow their brands.
 
“This is the first time The Center has done an event like this, although other groups have done or are doing business training,” Program Director Sarah Allan says.
 
Most of the businesses enrolled in “How to Make Your Creative Business Thrive” have a few years of business under their belts. Going forward, Berger Heyburn will do one-on-one Skype calls with each business to provide further mentorship to address each business’ specific challenges; another group meeting in the Fall will wrap up the class.
 
“We’re excited about the class and are looking forward to the outcome,” Allan says. “We’ve worked with a number of these businesses before and are continuing those relationships, but we’re also working with some that are new to us and building new relationships.”
 
The businesses enrolled in the class are:
A Squared Decor
Erica Watson
Eye Candy
Fritz Kulhman
Meddling with Nature
Pique on Pike
Sharon Roark
Steven Sanders, CVG Made
Tess Burns, Wife of the Chef
Ties by Scotti
Yogi and the Farmer
 
The business coaching was made possible through a grant from LISC to help grow maker businesses in Covington. It was also held in conjunction with some of the work being done at Hellmann Lumber Mill, as several artists based at Hellmann are taking the class.
 

Neyer Properties to begin redevelopment of Baldwin Piano site in May


Plans have been in the works since 2014 for renovating the almost 100-year-old Baldwin Piano buildings located at 625 and 655 Eden Park Dr. in Walnut Hills. Neyer Properties purchased them at auction for $17.1 million and has been working with a number of organizations, including the Cincinnati Park Board and neighborhood groups, to determine the buildings’ best reuse.
 
The $100-million project includes the redevelopment of the two buildings — the 180,000-square-foot Grand Baldwin building and the 200,000-square-foot Baldwin 200 office tower — that sit on about five acres, as well as a 1,250-space parking deck. Neyer plans to redevelop the site into 190 loft-style apartments, a hotel, restaurant space and pocket park.
 
Construction is slated to begin in May, with apartments move-in ready by Spring 2017.
 
Dwight Hamilton Baldwin started out as a music teacher, opening a piano store in 1862. He began manufacturing pianos in Walnut Hills in the late 19th Century and built the seven-story Italianate Renaissance building in 1921.
 
The building that is today known as Grand Baldwin served as the company’s headquarters until 1984. Covington-based Corporex Cos. converted the building into Class A office space in 1987 and developed the adjacent 12-story Baldwin 200 building in 1990.

 
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