Six local projects awarded $275,900 in Duke Energy Urban Revitalization grants

The Duke Energy Urban Revitalization grant program has doled out $1.3 million to 35 projects since its inception in 2011. Six local projects were recently awarded $275,900 in grant money to help eliminate blight, create jobs and increase business retention and expansion in Covington, Newport, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill and Walnut Hills.
The Catalytic Fund received $30,000 to restore buildings on East Fifth Street in Covington. The project will create 4,000 square feet of move-in ready commercial space as well as five new market-rate apartments. It will also help accommodate The Risk Firm’s rapid expansion by providing 1,000 square feet of additional office space adjacent to its existing building, creating four new jobs.
The Catalytic Fund was awarded $42,476 for the expansion of Carabello Coffee in Newport. Justin and Emily Carabello will be purchasing and renovating the vacant 1,800-square-foot building next to their existing business on Monmouth Street. The project will help activate the entire corner and will allow Carabello to create three more permanent jobs.
HCDC's Economic Development department received $60,000 for its small business coaching and mentoring program, which this year will be in Mt. Healthy, Cheviot and Westwood. Since 2013, the program has helped small businesses in College Hill, East Walnut Hills, North College Hill, Northside, Pleasant Ridge and Price Hill.
Duke Energy awarded the Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation $50,000 to help restore a historic movie theater in the neighborhood. The 7,000-square-foot space on Montgomery Road has been targeted for redevelopment for years and will now become a boutique movie theater and community gathering place. PRDC will partner with an established business that has produced pop-up movie events over the past two years and is ready to expand into a permanent location. Renovation efforts will include removing the boarded-up facade and upgrading the HVAC and water systems.
Price Hill Will received $37,424 to restore a building at the heart of the Eighth Street corridor in Lower Price Hill. The Eighth and Depot Project will create a new retail space, six mixed-income live-work units and five new jobs. The building will serve as the anchor project for the corridor’s redevelopment efforts over the next 10-15 years.
The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation was awarded a $56,000 grant for the redevelopment of the Century Theater and the Durner Building, which are both on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings are at the center of Peeble’s Corner and have been vacant for years. Once finished, the project will create a co-working space and 33 permanent jobs.

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.