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Advanced Engineering : Development News

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Three Northern Kentucky companies expanding, creating jobs

Three Northern Kentucky companies are expanding their existing operations. The growth will add about 60 jobs and will bring in more than $37 million in total investment.
Ticona Polymers Inc., a subsidiary of global technology and specialty materials company Celanese, produces specialty polymers for industrial applications, including automotive and manufacturing. Ticona, which is located at 8040 Dixie Hwy., plans to spend $4.2 million on building improvements and $21.5 million on equipment, including prototyping and full-scale production lines. Ten jobs will be added with the expansion.
Ticona received preliminary approval for $300,000 in tax incentives over 10 years from the Kentucky Business Incentive program and up to $100,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.
Best Sanitizers Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of sanitary and soap products for a variety of industries, including hospitals, laboratories and manufacturing. The company plans to build a $4 million warehouse and distribution center next to its existing facility in Walton at 154 Mullen Dr. The expansion will create 19 jobs.
Best Sanitizers received preliminary approval for $175,999 in tax incentives over 10 years from the KBI program and up to $50,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
Niagara LaSalle Corp., a subsidiary of Optima Specialty Steel, is the largest independent cold finished steel bar producer in North America. The company has proposed to relocate cold finished steel bar operations to an existing facility in Florence. Its expansion will create 29 jobs and total investment of $6.65 million.
The project received preliminary approval for $600,000 in tax incentives over 10 years from the KBI program.
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

Cincinnati firm thrives by doing complex building projects including Music Hall renovation

It's not often that you hear about a firm looking to find the most challenging projects possible, but that is exactly what Cincinnati-based THP Limited does.  The architecture and engineering firm not only prefers those types of projects, but they thrive on them earning industry awards for major projects like The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge in Covington.

"The Ascent was a very unique and complex building, and one of the things we worked on from the beginning is whether or not the building would lean," explained Shayne Manning, Project Manager & Principal-in-Charge on The Ascent project.  "What we did was lean the columns to follow the skin of the building which has resulted in every floor being different within."

The leaning columns found within The Ascent differ from another prominent Cincinnati project THP was involved with on the University of Cincinnati's campus.  At the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, the columns are vertical and the walls bend - leaving a gap in between the columns and the building's skin - something not seen as being desirable for a high-end residential condo building.

The shape of The Ascent also challenged THP as they worked with the winds found within the Ohio River Valley.  The firm had to conduct wind tunnel studies on the free-form building design to ensure its stability during unpredictable weather events.

The result of the free-form building design is a dramatic roof that slopes from the 11th Floor of the building to its pinnacle.  The 34-degree slope ascends vertically 160 feet and allows for nine penthouse terraces that bisect the roof.

The work was not only challenging for THP, but rewarding as well.  The firm picked up the Grand Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in 2009, and another award in the category of Residential Buildings from the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CSRI) in March 2010.

"The inherently flexible properties of reinforced concrete enables professionals to express their unique vision in building and bridge projects," stated Bob Risser, CRSI President.  "The CRSI Design Awards program recognizes designers for their creativity in using this great material."

THP has recently been tapped for the $100 million Music Hall renovation project in historic Over-the-Rhine and plans to begin its initial survey work in July 2010, with an expectation of approximately two years worth of work before completion.  THP will be working with Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects and New York-based Polsheck Partnership Architects which worked on the renovation of New York City's Carnegie Hall.

"These awards and these projects are very much a source of pride because we like to be involved with complex structures," Manning concluded.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
Stay connected by following Randy on Twitter @UrbanCincy

Senator Kearney upset over lack of Third Frontier funds for Cincinnati startups

The Ohio Department of Development awarded more than $11 million in Pre-Seed Fund Initiative and Entrepreneurial Signature Program funds to six Ohio-based projects on May 26th.  The funding is intended to give new start-up technology companies access to "early-stage capital" so that they can develop new products and technologies.

The funding announcement comes on the heels of a voter-approved $700 million bond issue this past May that over the course of Third Frontier's 10-year, $1.4 billion program is expected to attract billions in private investment.  However, the issue one Ohio state senator has with the $11 million in start-up funds is that none of it was awarded to Cincinnati-area companies.

"Cincinnati has great entrepreneurs and hard-working, creative business people. They deserve support too," said Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Avondale).  "It's unfortunate that Cincinnati was overlooked, but I will continue to fight for Cincinnati's small businesses."

Kearney pointed out that Cleveland received approximately 88 percent of the total funding awarded, with the remaining $1.3 million going to the Columbus region.

"It seems that the Cleveland area always gets the most funding, and that's not fair to Cincinnatians," Kearney stated.  "Our area might not apply as well as we should, and we might have to do a better job at that, but Cincinnati is still a major market and we should get some of those resources."

Senator Kearney's office previously fought for the Cincinnati developers when they felt they were left out of the Ohio State Historic Preservation Tax Credit process.  Following his office's actions, a second round of funding was released that included many Cincinnati-area projects like the ongoing phase of Gateway Quarter developments in Over-the-Rhine led by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

Senator Kearney concluded by saying he wants the Greater Cincinnati area to get more Third Frontier dollars, and is encouraging those interested to contact him by email at SD09@maild.sen.state.oh.us, or by mail at "Senate Building, 1 Capital Square, Ground Floor, Columbus, OH 43215."

"It's important that I hear from my constituents so that I can take what I get to the Third Frontier Commission and the Governor's Office and let them know that people in Cincinnati are upset about this."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
Stay connected by following Randy on Twitter @UrbanCincy

BOOST! offers energetic, all-inclusive meeting space

"Sophisticated, yet playful" is how Jenny White describes BOOST!, her new meeting space in Over-the-Rhine.

The 4,600-square-foot space on the third-floor of 538 Reading Road is part of the Metaphor Flats project, a former warehouse restored by Urban Sites Properties.

After working in meeting planning within the corporate realm for the last 13 years, White finally decided "it's now or never" and took the plunge to create something unique to Cincinnati - and not at all like the office.

"BOOST!" signifies energy, an upward move.  Another level.

Natural sunlight, hardwood floors, exposed beams and an open, flexible layout makes White's project more home-like, and more energizing.

"The big draw is the environment," White said.  "The feel of the space, the uniqueness of the architecture - it awakens your senses."

An $80 per person, all-inclusive rental rate provides meeting organizers with everything they could possibly need: Complete audio and video capabilities, phones, office equipment and supplies, even refreshments.

And to feed the inner child, BOOST! has a custom-made cornhole set, Nintendo Wii and a karaoke machine.

White also says that, by April, clients will be able to unwind on a rooftop deck, and that a future "phase" may include some green retrofitting, such as solar panels.

Outside of corporate meetings, White has had inquiries about using the space for wedding receptions and parties.  She also plans to use BOOST! for community workshops to help groups in need throughout the neighborhood.

"I feel like I'm part of a community now," White said.  "And I like the fact that I can tell clients about restaurants and things to do in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine."

BOOST! officially opens on February 12 with an open house from 11 AM to 8 PM.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Jenny White, BOOST!
Photos courtesy of BOOST!
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