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Seven finalists announced for Impact 100 grant


Seven area organizations were recently named finalists for the Impact 100 grant. Each year, Impact 100 awards upwards of $100,000 to regional nonprofits for a variety of projects. Since its founding in 2011, Impact 100 has awarded over $3.2 million to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.

Four of the grants will be awarded this year, each totaling $101,500. Grant recipients will be named Sept. 13 at Impact 100’s Annual Awards Celebration.
 
Finalists are:
  • The Center for Great Neighborhood's Hellmann Creative Center. Grant money would be used for artist equipment, to display equipment for community-focused gallery space, hiring a coordinator, and a multi-media station that highlights local productions.
  • Chatfield College plans to renovate an underutilized park at the corner of Central Parkway and and Liberty Street into an outdoor learning space. The Central & Liberty Green Space will be used by students doing service projects and in hands-on classroom activities, as well as by the community.
  • Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship plans to expand Project Mustang if its chosen as a grant recipient. The program helps save wild mustangs; the mustangs are part of the organization's larger goal of helping veterans overcome the affects of PTSD. 
  • Greater Cincinnati Construction Foundation is expanding a program at Woodward Career Technical High School that focuses on the development and implementation of practical, application-based math program in middle schools. The program will help increase the placement of students into the high school program that prepares them for the construction trade.
  • Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission hopes to equip the Lincoln Grant Scholar House with safety amenities and programming. The house provides single mothers who are pursuing post-secondary educations — and their kids — with an affordable housing option and access to a number of programs.
  • St. Francis Seraph Ministries & Center for Respite Care will purchase a commercial stove hood for The St. Anthony Center Dinner Club, which provides breakfast and dinners for the homeless five days per week. The grant would also help fund a new kitchenette for the in-house respite care unit that provides post-hospitalization care and other services for the homeless.
  • Women’s Crisis Center plans to expand its Green Dot Violence Prevention Program to three new high schools in Northern Kentucky.

Construction underway at Clifton Market


The former Keller’s IGA store on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton is seeing a flurry of activity as the community readies for the opening of Clifton Market. Construction began on the co-op grocery store in March, and the opening date is slated for October.
 
Construction should wrap up at the end of September, with interior equipment being delivered later this month.
 
A new grocery store in Clifton has been a long time coming. Plans for it were started in 2014, but organizers were still fundraising for the $5.6 million project. The co-op model, where community members are shareowners, has made the dream a reality.
 
Currently, there are about 1,250 shareowners who hold 1,700 shares. The goal is to obtain 2,000 shareowners by the time the market opens, says Marilyn Hyland, a Clifton Market board member.
 
“The more shareowners there are, the stronger the store will be and the stronger the store will be as the heart of the community,” she says.
 
The 23,000-square-foot building will house organic and locally sourced produce, a butcher, a seafood counter, a deli and a bakery. Customers will be able to purchase everything from beer and wine to pet supplies.
 
Clifton Market will also feature a salad bar and juice bar, plus a cafe space toward the front of the store. There are also plans to offer cooking classes and beer and cheese tastings.
 
The board hired Keith Wicks, a grocery market expert from Minneapolis, to help with the market’s business plan and projected outcomes. Based on his findings, he predicts that 15,000 people will visit the store and the Clifton business district each week.
 
“Clifton Market will be another stop for shoppers in Clifton, bringing in more customers to the store and the neighborhood,” Hyland says.
 
There are plans to cross-promote the market with the shops and restaurants on Ludlow Avenue, creating a cohesive environment for the community.
 
If you’re interested in purchasing a share in Clifton Market, visit its website for more information.
 

Rejuvenation and growth in the heart of historic Madisonville


Plans for development at the corner of Madison Road and Whetsel Avenue could mean big changes for Madisonville. A number of new businesses have already opened this year, adding retail and restaurant destinations, as well as jobs, to the neighborhood.

“We’re working to create a vibrant heart of the neighborhood that will radiate out to the other parts,” says Matt Strauss, real estate and marketing manager for the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation.

Madisonville has been successful in attracting new restaurants and shops this year, with much of it centered at the core of the business district. Establishments new to the neighborhood in 2016 include Boxing 4 Fitness, Cookoo’s Coffee Shoppe, Dubwerx Auto Repair, Jojo’s Chicken and Fish, Lala’s Blissful Bites and Mad Llama Coffee. It was also just announced that Mazunte Taqueria Mexicana will be expanding, and plans to open a commissary kitchen and retail space in Madisonville.

MCURC is hard at work on additional plans to strengthen and enhance the business district. The City of Cincinnati has offered $4 million to help build several new, multi-story, mixed-use developments at the intersection of Madison and Whetsel. MCURC is working with local developer Ackermann Group on the effort, which is expected to total about $36 million.

Once completed, the project will add 10,000 square feet of retail space, 15,000 square feet of office space, and 185 units of new housing, a portion of which will be workforce-rate.

“The project is evolving,” Strauss says. “We’re still waiting to hear on the final piece of the financing puzzle, which includes a pending tax credit application. If we get the go-ahead, we’ll start immediately thereafter."

Once construction begins, the project will take a year and a half to complete.

MCURC also recently completed a $644,000 renovation of the former Fifth Third Bank building at the corner of Madison and Whetsel. MCURC transformed the building into a 2,600-square-foot, street-level restaurant space with two, two-bedroom apartments on the second floor. The upstairs apartments are now occupied, but the search for a downstairs business tenant continues.

Strauss says that the effort to revitalize the neighborhood includes outreach to the larger community. “In no small part, it’s about people getting to know us. We want to show people Madisonville’s personality.”

One thing that helps people get to know the neighborhood the Cincinnati Jazz and BBQ Festival, which was started in 2014. The event features food, vendors and live music, and will be held this year from 4 to 9 pm on September 10. The Madisonville 5K takes place at 8:30 am that same morning, and raises funds for MCURC’s community-building initiatives in the neighborhood.
 

Lumenocity plans to go out with a bang


In its fourth and final year, Lumenocity has moved from outdoors at Washington Park to inside the Taft Theatre. There will also be a number of new events at the Lumenocity Block Party, which will be going on all weekend and is open to the public.
 
Lumenocity is Aug. 5-7, with Taft showtimes at 8 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 5 and 2 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 6-7.
 
The block party will be located on East Fifth Street between Sycamore and Broadway and will feature food trucks and a Rhinegeist beer booth with special Lumenocity Glow Ale. Different stations will be set up along the street with art, music, entertainment and family-friendly activities all weekend long.  
 
Stations include:

• Artist Jonathan Gibson will assemble a crowd-sourced community art project called Art of Parts 1-8 p.m. Aug. 7. Attendees can stop by and bid on sections of the artwork from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m, and then Gibson will cut up the piece and divvy up the shares. All process will go to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Lumenocity.

• The Family Fun Zone will be just north of Fifth Street featuring a Lantern Station where you can create your own lantern using glow sticks. You can also wave your lantern and dance along with Cincy Brass and Pones Inc. in ArtsWave’s Lantern Parade at 9 p.m. Aug. 5.

• Created by students at the UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Instrument 112 will be an immersive and responsive installation that translates movement into light, sound and patterns of light.

Antonio Violins will help out at the Music Lab, where kids of all ages can stop by and try out an instrument or two. No prior experience is required.

• Swing Set Drum Kit is a human-powered, one-man band. The swing is just like any other park swing, but its chains are connected to percussion instruments that go into action once you start swinging.

• VR Dome is a virtual reality headset with Google’s Tilt Brush technology that lets you “paint” the air. A 40-by-40-foot space will be set up in a parking lot at the corner of Fifth Street and Broadway for attendees to try out the technology. You must be 14 years or older to participate.

Even if you don’t have a ticket to Lumenocity, you can still catch the show. A 33-by-19-foot outdoor LED screen will be mounted at the east end of the block party for attendees to watch the Lumenocity performances at 9:40 p.m. Aug. 5 and 3:40 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7.
 
Limited tickets are still available for a variety of showtimes. You can purchase them here or stop by one of the above showtimes to watch the event on-screen at the block party.
 

21st neighborhood participates in Neighborhood Enhancement Program


On July 26, the latest Neighborhood Enhancement Program wrapped up in Lower Price Hill. The 90-day blitz is a collaboration among city departments, community organizations and residents to help jumpstart improvements in each participating neighborhood. 

Launched in 2007, NEP focuses on reducing crime hotspots, beautifying streetscapes and tackling blight, but the program can also help spur more development and investment in the targeted neighborhoods. Data analysis chooses the neighborhoods that will be chosen to participate, but a neighborhood has to be ready for the program.

Price Hill Will received a grant from the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing in March to tackle renovation of Evans Recreation Center during the NEP.

Evans was a big part of the NEP’s focus in Lower Price Hill. A former parking lot is now a skate park installed by the city and sponsored by Warsaw Federal. The skate park joins improved basketball courts and a new bicycle polo area at Evans.
 
The Cincinnati Reds are continuing to work on Evans and will renovate the baseball fields with the help of hundreds of volunteers from P&G.
 
To date, Avondale, Bond Hill, Carthage, Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview, College Hill, Corryville, East Price Hill, Evanston, Kennedy Heights, Madisonville, Mt. Airy, Mt. Washington, Northside, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton, Price Hill, Roselawn, Walnut Hills and Westwood have all participated in the NEP.
 
Lower Price Hill was the 21st neighborhood to participate in NEP. The 22nd neighborhood, Mt. Auburn, will begin its blitz in mid-August.
 

Update: Status of food trucks to restaurants


Over the past few months, a number of well-known food truck owners have announced that they’re branching out and opening brick-and-mortar restaurants and retail spaces. We decided it was time to give readers an update on the restaurants, as the majority of them are planning to open soon.
 
Dojo Gelato, 1735 Blue Rock St., Northside
Owner Michael Christner is renovating the former J.F. Dairy Corner building into a second location for Dojo. The building is cleaned up, and now construction can begin on the space. Christner plans to move Dojo’s production operations to Northside and will offer an expanded menu that will include gelato as well as traditional ice cream treats.
 
Panino, 1313-1315 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine
Nino Loreto sold his food truck to fund a brick-and-mortar restaurant, which will also serve homemade salami and charcuterie. Panino will feature a casual deli with a walk-up meat counter, plus a restaurant that will offer a small menu of charcuterie plates, crostinis, bruschetta and paninis as well as a small selection of entrees. An opening date hasn’t been set yet because, once build-out on the space is finished, Loreto has to make his meat products, which take a while to cure. Keep tabs on Panino’s Facebook page for updates.
 
Share: Cheesebar, 6105 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge
C’est Cheese is one of the city’s most beloved food trucks, maybe because the menu is made up of the ultimate comfort food: grilled cheese. Owner Emily Frank is taking her love of the “cheesy goodness” and opening a retail cheese shop, complete with cheese plates, craft beer and wine to enjoy in-store. There have been a number of setbacks, including a life-threatening injury that Frank experienced earlier this year, but the plans and designs for the space have been submitted and Frank is hoping for a fall opening.
 
Urban Grill on Main, 6623 Main St., Newtown
Randy Reichelderfer and sister-in-law Betsy Eicher are renovating an 1870s farmhouse into a full-service restaurant and coffee shop. The menu will feature customer favorites from the Urban Grill Food Truck, which will continue operating once the restaurant opens. They’re still shooting for a late summer opening in Newtown.
 

Neighborhood Irish pub expanding in Covington


The owners of Molly Malone’s in Covington are expanding to a space next door. The building at 106-108 E. Fourth St. used to be a Mexican restaurant but has been vacant for a number of years.
 
Molly Malone’s currently is at capacity, especially during televised soccer games. It's one of the most popular places in Greater Cincinnati during soccer season, and when major tournaments are on TV lines can go out the door. Live music and private events are also part of the restaurant's repertoire.

The renovated space will feature a larger bar and kitchen as well as 95 more seats in the dining area. A new seasonal patio will have glass garage doors, and there will be rooftop access.
 
There are also plans for an updated menu and a new brunch menu that will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
 
Demolition work is already underway, and the new addition should be ready in time for the NFL season.
 

New Metro transit center aims to improve rider experience in Northside


A new Metro transit center is in the works near the intersection of Spring Grove Avenue and Blue Rock Street, just off of Hamilton Avenue in Northside. The hub will provide a dedicated off-street boarding location for the 13,400 riders that Metro currently serves in the neighborhood each day.

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the agency that oversees Metro, has been working alongside the Northside Community Council and Northside Business Association to develop a plan that addresses long-standing transit infrastructure needs. Northside is a major transit corridor, with six local routes, one express route and one crosstown route that come through the neighborhood daily.

It's the second busiest Metro location in the city, surpassed only by the Government Square stop downtown. Much of the activity is concentrated at Knowlton’s Corner, where Hamilton and Spring Grove intersect.

“This will be a very transformational project for the neighborhood,” says Ollie Kroner, president of the Northside Community Council. 

The new hub is designed to be universally accessible, improve safety and visibility and incorporate sustainable, durable materials. The transit station will have real-time destination screens, green spaces, public art, bike racks and 18 park-and-ride spaces. Development plans began a year ago and have incorporated community input through a series of charrettes, or brainstorming sessions.

According to Kroner, re-routing the stops along Hamilton to the transit hub will help to complete the business district.

“If you look at the Northside business district, under-utilization and vacancy are concentrated near the Knowlton’s Corner stop,” Kroner says.

The new transit hub is expected to streamline bus service, creating greater comfort and faster service for riders. Land acquisition, environmental assessments and a review to ensure that the site doesn't have historical significance have already been completed.

After a third community charrette session and plan finalization, construction will begin. The new hub is expected to be operational by late 2017.
 

New riverfront developments coming to Newport


A number of new developments along the Newport side of the Ohio riverfront could mean exciting changes for Greater Cincinnati. Projects include a bikeway/walkway, widening of a major thoroughfare, new housing options and commercial space and a tourist attraction.

“It’s a great year for development for the city,” says Greg Tulley, development services director for the City of Newport. “There’s a lot of interest in the area, and you’re going to see a lot more projects coming up."

Soapbox rounded up five of the new projects that will continue to shape the future of the region.
 
Riverfront Commons
Southbank Partners is currently developing an 11-mile bikeway/walkway that will extend along the Ohio riverfront to connect Dayton, Bellevue, Newport, Covington and Ludlow. The project experienced a set-back in April when Gov. Matt Bevin struck down $300,000 in potential state funding, but portions of the trail in Ludlow, Dayton and Covington are slated to move forward without state funding.
 
KY Rt. 9 (AA) Highway
Construction is underway on the $38 million expansion of Kentucky Route 9, commonly called the AA Highway. This 1.5-mile expansion will ease traffic patterns, starting near the Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge at 11th Street, running parallel to the Licking River past the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge at Fourth Street, then east to the foot of the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. The new road will provide improved access to the Newport riverfront area and will feature dedicated bike lanes.
 
Ovation
This mixed-use development by real estate company Corporex will be situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers near the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. Once completed, the $1 billion development will include 108 townhomes, 726 condos, 192 senior housing units, 1.2 million square feet of office, 300,000 square feet of retail space, a 3,000-seat showroom, two hotels and 6,200 parking spaces.

The project was first announced in 2006 but has been stalled awaiting the completion of the AA Highway expansion that goes through the site. Completion of the new highway “will do a lot to jumpstart the Ovation property,” Tulley says.
 
Skywheel
St. Louis-based Koch Development has proposed a new Ferris wheel attraction for Newport on the Levee. The $10 million project will rise 235 feet above the Ohio River, offering sweeping views of the Cincinnati skyline.

The proposed wheel is currently pending approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that manages the Ohio River flood system. Because the wheel would be built atop Newport’s earthen levee, the Army Corps must evaluate the structural integrity to ensure that the safety of the levee system is maintained. If approved, the project is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
 
Aqua on the Levee
Cincinnati-based Capital Investment Group Inc., whose other Newport projects include SouthShore Condominiums and The Vue 180 apartment complex, is nearing completion on the $80 million Aqua on the Levee. The development is directly adjacent to Newport on the Levee and features 238 luxury apartments that face the Ohio River.

In addition to new apartments, the mixed-use development will feature 8,300 square feet of retail space along East Third Street and an 800-space parking garage. The development also includes a new Starwood A-loft Hotel on the corner of East Third and Washington Avenue, which is being developed and managed by Louisville-based Musselman Hotels.
 

Seven NKY projects receive funding in first round of myNKY Nano Grants


In the first round of funding, Skyward and The Center for Great Neighborhoods awarded seven projects in Northern Kentucky with myNKY Nano Grants. The grants are to help support creative placemaking projects that help bring Northern Kentuckians together by building a sense of community, celebrating differences or fostering community pride.
 
The grants are part of a Center program already in place but expanded into three new communities that are part of Skyward’s nine-county target area for the myNKY Plan: Dayton, Florence and Pendleton County.
 
Each project received $250 to help bring its idea to fruition.
 
Dayton:
Dayton Storytime will encourage Dayton residents of all ages to gather to hear local stories in a series of evening events that are designed to increase civic pride and friendship among neighbors.
 
Take a Look @ Dayton KY will allow residents to create short videos about the city and enter them into a contest. The project will get many looking at the city differently and from new perspectives.
 
Florence:
Rose Buddies is a beautification, community engagement and education project that will keep the Knockout Roses along Mall Road blooming all season long.
 
Pendleton County:
A “Ewe-Nique” Art Hop will commission local artists to create artwork that will be displayed in vacant storefronts in Falmouth during the Kentucky Wool Festival. In conjunction with the unveiling of the art, pop-up galleries will open and local musicians will play during the festival, encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy local heritage, art and culture.
 
Imagine This… will expand existing leadership and community engagement programs for young students in Pendleton County Schools through an art and essay contest. The topic for the contest is the future of Pendleton County.
 
Little Free Libraries for PC is a more rural take on the Little Free Library craze. Small structures will be built for the free book exchange project at a number of locations throughout the county. The grant will be used to create signage to help direct people to the standalone libraries.
 
The deadline for a second round of funding for myNKY Nano Grants is Aug. 1. You can apply online here or download the application. All applicants will receive notification of funding decisions within 10 days of the application deadline.
 

Third annual Food Truck Fest moves to Summit Park in Blue Ash


Mark your calendars for the Cincinnati Food Truck Association’s third annual Food Fest 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 29. This year’s festival is in a new location and will feature more food trucks than ever before.
 
Food Fest had been held in Washington Park for the past two years, but this year it’s moving to Summit Park in Blue Ash to accommodate more trucks and larger crowds. Thirty-four trucks will be present this year, and craft beer will be available from local breweries such as Ei8ht Ball Brewing, MadTree Brewing, Old Firehouse Brewery and Urban Artifact Brewery.
 
The event is set up so you can swing by on your lunch break, stop by for dinner or make a day of it. Live music will be playing throughout the day from Magic Noodle House, JDesiree, Joe Wannabee and the Mad Man’s Blues Band and DJ Nate the Great.
 
Food Fest is free and open to the public, and the majority of the dishes served on the trucks range between $5 and $10.
 
Trucks that will be present at this year’s event are:

Adena’s Beefstroll
Bistro de Mohr
Bones Brothers Wings
C’est Cheese
Catch-a-Fire Pizza
Cuban Pete Sandwiches
Dojo Gelato
East Coast Eatz
Eclectic Comfort Food
Empanadas Aqui
Fireside Pizza
Harvest Mobile Cuisine
Hungry Bros.
Joe’s Mojo
Just Jerks
Marty’s Waffles
Coldstone Mobile Creamery
Nonstop Flavor LLC
P&P Woodfired Pizza
Quite Frankly
Red Sesame
Remi J’s Barbecue
Roll With It Café
Slice Slice Baby
Street Chef Brigade
Legasea East Coast Café
Streetpops
SugarSnap!
Texas Joe
The Chili Hut
U-Lucky Dawg
Urban Grill
Urban Vistro
Waffo
Wicked Hickory
 
All food trucks present at Food Fest are participating members of the Cincinnati Food Truck Association (CFTA). If you’re unable to make it on July 29, follow your favorite truck on Facebook so you can catch it at the next event.  
 

Brewing Heritage Trail receives $300,000 in state/local funds, construction to begin early next year


The Over-the-Rhine Brewery District was recently awarded $200,000 from the state and $100,000 from the city to help get construction underway on the Brewing Heritage Trail. The $5 million project will include a 2.3-mile trail as well as a website and mobile app.
 
The trail will tell the story of Cincinnati’s beer culture by showcasing the city’s historic breweries and taverns through a series of plaques and murals. A number of the buildings that have served as breweries and taverns over the years are currently in use today by new breweries like Rhinegeist and reborn breweries like Christian Moerlein.
 
The trail will be split into three segments and will begin in Pendleton and wind its way through Over-the-Rhine and into the Mohawk area. Three murals depicting Cincinnati’s brewing history are located at 25 Back St., 1625 Central Parkway and 131 E. McMicken St. in Over-the-Rhine.
 
Construction is expected to begin on the middle segment in early 2017. The middle segment will showcase the history of lager, an industry that began in Cincinnati, and the bars and saloons that played important roles in the city’s politics and history.
 
The first segment of the trail will tell the story of Cincinnati’s early brewers and the cultural background of the English, French, Germans and Irish who settled the city. The third segment will focus on the growth of the city’s breweries and how they began shipping beer all over the world.
 
The website and mobile app, which were made possible by a grant from the Haile Foundation, are expected to launch this fall. They’ll help guide people through the trail as well as provide additional information.
 

Tarantino-inspired video store concept coming to Walnut Hills


The team at The Overlook Lodge is bringing its second concept, The Video Archive, to Walnut Hills. Jacob Trevino, along with co-owners Otto Baum and Katie Fraser, are aiming for a fall opening.
 
“We’ve always loved cinema, and with everything we’ve done it’s always about the experience of movies,” Trevino says.
 
The Video Archive will be a Quentin Tarantino-inspired 100-square-foot video store featuring Grind-house, Indie and cult classic videos for rent and purchase. Like Gorilla Cinema and The Overlook Lodge, this concept will have its surprises too.
 
“Tarantino is the ultimate lover of cinema, and we thought it would be a cool idea to incorporate him into our idea,” Trevino says. “The Video Archive is the full circle representation of everything we’ve done over the past two years.”
 
The 1,500-square-foot space, which will be located at 965 E. McMillan St., is being redeveloped by Model Group and Urban Fast Forward.
 
“Model Group was looking for something like us for the space, and when we pitched them our ‘interesting’ idea they jumped all over it,” Trevino says.
 
The Video Archive will add to the energy in Walnut Hills’ business district, joining the likes of Firehouse Pizza, Gomez Salsa, The Growler House, Just Q’in and Myrtle’s Punch House.
 
“We’re very excited for this next idea and hope it really surprises Walnut Hills and Cincinnati in general,” Trevino says.
 

Wiedemann Brewing owner now planning a taproom and beer garden in St. Bernard


Jon Newberry, owner of the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co., is taking another shot at opening a brewery in the Cincinnati area. Financing fell through on a leased space in WaterTower Square in Newport, but now he’s working on a location in St. Bernard.
 
“In a way, St. Bernard chose this venture,” he says. “After Newport fell through, I thought about looking for a space in Covington, but I figured if I was going to look outside of Newport I might as well look in Ohio too. My wife and I live in St. Bernard, and after talking to a neighbor I went to the City to see what I could do about a property.”
 
By partnering with the City of St. Bernard, Newberry was essentially given the property at 4811 Vine St. in exchange for his investment in the community and bringing jobs to the area. (Other deals like this have brought businesses like Streetpops and Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery there.)
 
The four-story, 16,000 square foot building along Vine is a former funeral home, which Newberry plans to turn into a large taproom and tavern-like beer hall. Due to the ceiling height in the building, there are plans to build a two-story addition onto the back of the building for the beer tanks and other brewing equipment.
 
Newberry also envisions a deck to one side of the building with a beer garden below butting up to a city-owned lot located at the former site of the Miami-Erie Canal. The old canal wall is still visible, and Newberry says there are plans for a bike path along the canalway connecting St. Bernard to the Mill Creek Trail.
 
Wiedemann’s taproom will also offer food, but those plans are still up in the air. Newberry is thinking of partnering with an outside food source that would lease kitchen space or creating a small, manageable menu he could do himself.
 
Phase II of the development project might include renovating the two upper floors, which house two apartments and office space, into offices for Wiedemann and a meeting or banquet space. The basement will be used for cold storage, kegging and bottling.
 
Newberry hopes that construction will begin on the brewery in the next few months, with a potential opening date of February or early March of next year.
 
Newport was home for Wiedemann until 1983, when brewing operations were moved to Evansville, Ind. Newberry says that a future expansion could include another location in Newport, with continued operations in St. Bernard.  
 

Affordable housing and new retail coming to College Hill


College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) broke ground on a new mixed-use development on July 11. The $11.1 million project, Marlowe Court, is located between Elkton Place and Marlowe Avenue along the 6000 block of Hamilton Avenue.

The new development will add 3,700 square feet of street-level retail space and 53 units of affordable senior housing to College Hill’s business district. Project partner Episcopal Retirement Services is managing the recruitment of residential tenants, all of whom will be seniors ages 55 and older. Once the building is complete, ERS will also take the lead on ongoing property management.

Local consulting and real estate firm Urban Fast Forward is charged with securing ground-level business tenants. Urban Fast Forward is currently conducting a market feasibility study with community input.

“I’ve been working in community development for quite a while,” CHCURC Executive Director Seth Walsh says. “And I am very impressed by how much community involvement there has been in this process.”

The anchor tenant for the building is First Financial Bank, and the search for businesses to fill the remaining two spaces continues. The building is slated for completion by November 2017.

 “We’re looking for a mix of services that will be attractive,” CHCURC VP Jake Samad says. “Restaurants, bars, entertainment, offices.”

This development furthers CHCURC’s long-term goal of adding density and vitality throughout the six-block business district. According to Samad, CHCURC aims to create “a walkable, livable neighborhood that provides opportunities for people to stay in the community, and attract new business.”

In addition to Marlowe Court, CHCURC is also working on a $32 million development called College Hill Station at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and North Bend Road. College Hill Station will break ground in the fall, bringing an additional 12,000 square feet of retail and 162 middle-income apartments to the neighborhood. 

“We couldn’t develop one without the other,” Walsh says. “The success of Marlowe Court allows us to do College Hill Station and begin revitalizing the other parts of the district. It becomes a ripple effect.”
 
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