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Over-the-Rhine : Development News

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Simple Space to offer pop-up and event space in OTR

Over-the-Rhine residents Levi and Heather Bethune are opening a pop-up and event space on the first-floor of their home. Simple Space, located at 16 E. 13th St., will be available for everything from a pop-up store to a party space.
 
“Simple Space will be kind of like an extension of our living room,” Bethune says. “One of the reasons my wife and I decided to move our family into an urban environment is so we can influence, affect and contribute to the heart of the city. We believe that we can have an impact through Simple Space, but also through our home. Every tenant that rents out the space will be considered a guest in our home, and hopefully a friend in our city.”
 
The 600-square-foot space is an empty shell, and will be undergoing renovations soon. The Bethunes hope to have their first tenants in before Christmas, and will open the building to reservations in March.
 
Over the last two years, Bethune has met many vendors and creators at events like the City Flea and Second Sunday on Main. He’s talked to several people who are interested in using the space, including Julie Otten from Shoppe Class, who could use Simple Space for craft speciality lessons; Nick Elbi from Zip Zoo Apparrel, who might do a T-shirt pop-up shop; and Blake Smith from the local start-up Cladwell, who has talked about using Simple Space for a custom fitting and personalized men’s shopping experience.
 
“Simple Space is a container, an empty box,” Bethune says. “It’s not about what I want to happen in there, it’s about what you want to happen in there.”
 
Simple Space is currently looking for investors to help with renovations and signage. You can donate to the Indiegogo campaign here.  
 

OTR's Cutthort Lofts designed to feel like home in an urban area

The Cutthort Lofts, located at 226 E. Clifton Ave. in Over-the-Rhine, are home to three one-bedroom townhouses. Work began on the development in December 2012, and the lofts are now available for pre-lease.
 
When Ben Gulley, owner of Ben Gulley Design, the designer and developer of The Cutthort Lofts, purchased the building, “cutthort” had been spray painted over the entryway door. He decided to name the project after a fictional character, Charles Cutthort, which he made up to contribute to the building’s history.  
 
The townhouses are priced at $1.40 per square foot, and range from 700 to 1,000 square feet.
 
“This is my third development in the OTR area,” Gulley says. “We purchased it as a shell, which made it an open palette for layout.”
 
Each space was designed to have flow and an open, spacious feel. The lofts feature reclaimed timber from the building, custom welded stair railings, carrara marble and natural stone baths, walk-in showers, real oak hardwood floors, butcher block countertops and exposed joists.
 
“The inspiration behind the project was to design spaces that I would love to call home and give others the same experience,” Gulley says. “The details make for a place you want to come home to.”
 
Gulley has lived in OTR since 1994, and loves the beautiful architecture and urban feel of the neighborhood. He is currently looking for his next project, and if it’s not in OTR, it will be in one of the nearby areas.
 

Design event to help homeowners with renovation ideas

Home renovators, there’s a new event designed just for you. On Nov. 1 and 2, the grand ballroom of Music Hall will host DesignBuildCincy, a trade show for homeowners and professionals who are planning a construction or design project.
 
The event will feature more than 125 architects, designers and remodelers, and will be the place to find local and regional handmade architectural fixtures and furniture.
 
Doug Hart, consultant and former owner of Hart Productions, wanted to create an event that featured custom made and luxury items, as well as artists, craftsmen and contractors who normally don’t do large trade shows.
 
“I felt it was necessary to do a show of this type at a unique venue in Over-the-Rhine to distinguish DesignBuild from other trade shows,” Hart says.
 
Many of the companies that will be at DesignBuild wanted to do the show because of its location. Hart hopes people will take advantage of the location and enjoy the beautiful architecture, as well as visit the shops and restaurants in the city’s urban core.
 
“My goal is to satisfy people who are looking for a large variety of unique vendors, while providing an immersive, urban experience that is typically not ‘built in’ on the front end of traditional home shows,” Hart says.
 
DesignBuildCincy will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be three presentations each day, showcasing recent residential projects and a Q&A. On Saturday, Chris Kepes of Kepes Architecture will speak at 11 a.m., Kenneth Workman of RWA Architects at 1 p.m. and Rod Sidley of Rod Sidley Architects at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Sanyog Rathoud of OTR Foundation will speak at 11 a.m., Rick Koehler and Andy Schaub of Architects Plus at 1 p.m., and Don Beck of Beck Architecture at 3 p.m.
 
Admission for DesignBuild is $10, and kids under 13 are free.
 

New development planned near Findlay Market

Model Group recently purchased 10 properties near and adjacent to Findlay Market for more than $1.5 million. The developer, who historically doesn’t purchase buildings, believes in the potential of the area.
 
“It may take a few years, but as a company, we wholly believe in the Findlay Market district as something that can’t be re-created anywhere else,” says Bobby Maly, chief operating officer for Model Group.
 
The first phase of the Race Street project will be a $14 million development. It will include 55,000 square feet of commercial space for retail and offices, as well as 15 apartments.
 
“As we have done with many of our Over-the-Rhine properties, including those on Vine Street and Broadway Square in Pendleton, we believe in restoring first-floor retail space so it brings back life to the street,” Maly says.
 
The retail spaces will complement the vendors in Findlay Market, and will be within walking distance to all neighborhood amenities.
 
“Our company’s mission is to positively transform communities, and we hope we can be part of the revitalization of the Findlay Market district and the northern half of OTR,” Maly says.

Traditional German clothing store opens in Christian Moerlein Brewery

The official supplier of lederhosen for Munich Oktoberfest, Wiesnkoenig, opened its first store in the United States on Aug. 20. The store is located in a 535-square-foot space inside Christian Moerlein Brewery in Over-the-Rhine.
 
Founded in 2007, Wiesnkoenig has five stores in Germany, and sells its clothing in department stores there and in Switzerland and Austria.
 
“It seemed right for Cincinnati as the sister city of Munich to have a Wiesnkoenig,” says Oliver Pfund, consultant for Wiesnkoenig. “With its over 100-year-old beer brewing history and great German heritage, it made sense to have a store where people can buy original German clothing that transports it to the next level and turns it into a lifestyle product.”
 
Wiesnkoenig offers traditional German clothing like lederhosen and dirndl, but lifestyle-oriented pieces like T-shirts, shirts, cardigans and vests are also available.
 
“We hope to combine tradition with everyday fashion to show people in the U.S. that traditional German clothing is fun to wear,” Pfund says. “You can do all kinds of crazy combinations like wearing lederhosen with Chuck Taylors and a stars and stripes tee.”
 
Wiesnkoenig is open Wednesday-Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
 

Tri*Metro campaign providing entertainment buses Sept. 13

This fall, Metro is launching the tri*Metro campaign, which will encourage young professionals to incorporate Metro into their lives. The three-pronged campaign focuses on learning about Metro, experiencing Metro and challenging riders to go car-free during the month of October.
 
Cincy YP and Give Back Cincinnati wanted to form a partnership with Metro to better educate others about riding the bus. They didn’t want to go to more meetings, but instead created a video about riding Metro, which shows riders how 20- and 30-somethings use the bus.
 
As part of the campaign, Metro is providing three entertainment buses for riders on Sept. 13. The bus will circulate to hotspots in Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, O'Bryonville and Over-the-Rhine. The bus will run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and will stop at designated bars and restaurants.
 
“Riders can get on and off the bus all night long, and will give everyone the opportunity to experiment with the buses,” says Kim Lahman, ridership development manager for Metro.
 
A specific route will be drawn up for the night that will circle the neighborhoods involved in the event, and there will be a bus schedule specifically designed to fit the route.
 
Volunteers from Cincy YP will be at each of the designated bus stops to help riders figure out where they’re going and how long they will have to stand and wait. Riders will also receive special discounts at participating bars and restaurants.
 
Venues include Cock & Bull Public House and Unwind Wine Bar in Hyde Park; Mt. Lookout Tavern and Millions Cafe in Mt. Lookout; Animations and The Oak Tavern in Oakley; O’Bryon's Bar & Grill and Uncorked in O’Bryonville; and The Drinkery and MOTR in OTR.
 
“It will be great for ridership, as well as for economic development because we’re supporting businesses along the way, and helping get people familiar with the Metro system,” Lahman says.
 
If you’re interested in riding Metro’s entertainment buses on Sept. 13, tickets are $5. For more information, visit Metro’s website.

Neighborhood bar and bottle shop serving this September in OTR

Garth Lieb, Jeremy Moore and Tom Stephen are no strangers to the Over-the-Rhine bar scene. Not only do they frequent them, but they’ve worked at a handful as well. And this September, the trio will be opening a bar of their own, Liberty’s Bar & Bottle.
 
The 1,000-square-foot space, which was formerly a condo, will feature 20 rotating taps, wine by the glass, and beer and a selection of wine to-go. Liberty’s will focus more on European craft beer and wine than local offerings, but you can be sure there will be a few of those as well.
 
“The American craft beer movement has pushed everyone around the world to experiment with different types of hops, fruits and barreling processes,” Stephen says. “It’s really pushed Europe to keep up and play around with the fun stuff.”
 
The bar’s wine program will be made up of Old World wines, but there will be a few from California and Oregon as well. There will also be a small liquor selection with a very small list of well-picked bourbons and scotches, and a vodka, gin and tequila option.
 
Meat and cheese plates will be available as well for light bites, featuring goods from local purveyors.
 
Liberty’s copper topped, walnut bar is original to the building. Eighteen bar stools, a few drink rails and a beer hall-style table will round out the seating. Eight French doors open onto the sidewalk, which Stephen says will make it feel like you’re outside.
 
When Liberty’s opens, there will be a few special beers that lots of people probably haven’t had on draft in Ohio. After unveiling the taps, Stephen says they’ll unveil a 20-foot tall mural painted by local artist Alex Scherra.
 
“We want Liberty’s to be a neighborhood bar, and with that, we want to feature local art,” Stephen says.
 
Scherra will also be creating pieces of art for the bar’s chalkboards that were salvaged from a 1902 schoolhouse in Connecticut. The artwork will change over time, and will feature hops and wine regions from around the world.
 

Macaron-focused bakery opening this fall in OTR

Cincinnati natives Patrick Moloughney and Nathan Sivitz lived in LA for a year, where they realized macarons—flavored ganache or cream sandwiched between two almond meringue cookies—are the next cupcake. So Moloughney, a former brand manager at P&G, and Sivitz, a trained pastry chef, are bringing the French sweet to Cincinnati.
 
“Macarons are delicate and light, and temperamental to make,” Sivitz says. “They’re difficult for the home baker to make, so we thought a shop dedicated to macarons would be perfect for the neighborhood.”
 
Macaron Bar is slated to open in November in a 1,400-square-foot space at 1206 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine, next to Park + Vine. The OTR location will primarily be a takeaway kitchen, so customers can grab a treat on the way to work or on the way home.
 
The shop will have a minimalist and contemporary look and feel, with lots of white laminate materials and a glass wall separating the kitchen from the front of the house. The white walls will make the colorful macarons pop, Sivitz says.
 
The shop’s menu will feature classic flavors like chocolate, pistachio and salted caramel, with seasonal flavors like pumpkin and peppermint. All of the macarons will be gluten-free and Kosher certified. Macaron Bar will also offer a limited selection of coffee from Deeper Roots and loose-leaf tea from Essencha Tea House.
 
Moloughney and Sivitz picture the OTR location to be the flagship store, and they plan to open several satellite shops around town that will be retail-only stores supplied by the OTR kitchen.
 
The guys are also committed to the community—three percent of the profits from Macaron Bar will go to nonprofits in the OTR area.
 
“We want a way to give back,” Moloughney says, who has served on the board of several community organizations, including Community Shares and GLSEN. “Volunteering and being involved are very important to us.”
 
 

Cross-stitch and embroidery shop new to OTR

The Hoop & Needle, a cross-stitch and embroidery shop, had its grand opening during Over-the-Rhine’s Second Sunday in June.
 
The 750-square-foot shop boasts cross-stitch and embroidery supplies, including modern and edgy patterns, kits and accessories. There’s also an online shop, which will carry many of the same offerings as the brick-and-mortar store.
 
The Hoop & Needle’s owner and sole employee, Sarah Fisher, hopes to eventually offer classes. She’ll be hosting the first “Stitch Night” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 7, where people can bring in their projects and work on them.
 
“I want to provide a place where people can explore something new, and try out something different,” Fisher says. “I’ve found that lots of people who live in OTR used to do cross-stitch or embroidery, and this is a way to make the hobby more approachable and help people get back into it.”
 
Fisher, an Akron native who now lives in Northside, started creating her own cross-stitch patterns a few years ago, and sold them as Purple Hippo Stitches at craft shows, including the Crafty Supermarket. The Hoop & Needle is an extension of that, and it happened a lot faster than she was expecting.
 
“I started looking at spaces, and this seemed like the perfect space,” she says. “There are other art stores in OTR like Rock Paper Scissors, and it seemed like a friendly community to start a business in.”
 
The Hoop & Needle, located at 1415 Main St., is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
 

Explore OTR cards offer arts patrons perks for visiting nearby restaurants and retail

Over-the-Rhine arts organization Elementz recently produced Explore OTR cards, which will drive business from the arts to restaurants and retail in the neighborhood. The cards are based on a concept seen in Kentucky where groups of businesses get together and create a process to get customers to go to the businesses.
 
“The cards are for people who might come to OTR for arts events, but who don’t think of the neighborhood as a place to stay and shop,” says Tom Kent, executive director of Elementz.
 
Explore OTR cards are free, and will be handed out by smaller arts organizations after performances—the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Art Beyond Boundaries, the Cincinnati Boychoir, Elementz and Know Theatre.
 
Patrons can then visit up to five of the 21 businesses listed on the card and get them initialed. Park + Vine, Rhinehaus, the YMCA, The Anchor Restaurant in Washington Park, Taste of Belgium and Sweet Sistah Splash are just a few of the diverse restaurants and retail options that are participating in the Explore OTR cards.
 
Once they’ve visited five businesses, patrons can redeem the cards at larger arts organizations such as American Legacy Tours, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Theatre and Know Theatre for deals like 20 percent off tickets for the Queen City Underground Tour and buy one, get one free tickets at Know Theatre.
 
Each offer has an expiration date, with some expiring in November, others in May, Kent says.
 
“We’re trying to build an alliance between arts organizations and the customers who come to see the shows,” he says. “Local businesses make the neighborhood thrive, and the cards will also help bring in a more diverse audience as membership builds.”
 
Elementz will be collecting the cards after they’re redeemed for the discounts, and keeping track of where people redeemed them and which businesses were visited.
 
The cards are currently being printed, and will be handed out at LumenoCity next weekend.

ArtWalks bring temporary public art to communities

The community was invited to help paint the crosswalk, or ArtWalk, at Main and Melindy streets in Over-the-Rhine during the neighborhood’s Second Sunday on Main. Artists Beth Graves, Pam Kravetz and Carla Morales designed and painted the outline of the crosswalk, aptly named “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?”
 
About 50 community members painted as little or as much of the crosswalk as they wanted.
 
“The most expensive part of any street painting is closing the street, so Second Sunday was a great time and place to do it,” says Margy Waller, Serendipity Director for Art on the Streets.
 
Another crosswalk will be painted during next month’s event, and Waller says they hope to have one or two painted at every Second Sunday between now and October.
 
Art on the Streets will also have an ArtWalk painting during the Walnut Hills Cincy Summer Streets on July 19, which was designed and outlined by Graves. There are also plans to have an ArtWalk at Northside’s Cincy Summer Streets on Aug. 24.
 
“ArtWalks reflect the vibrancy that the arts bring to neighborhoods, and show how arts bring people together,” Waller says.
 
The Main Street ArtWalks are being funded by a grant from Cincy Sundaes and a matching grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Big Idea Challenge. The Walnut Hill’s ArtWalk is being funded by Interact for Health and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Columbus-based pretzel shop opening in OTR

An authentic German pretzel shop will soon open its doors in Over-the-Rhine. Columbus-based Brezel will be located in the 565-square-foot space next to Graeter’s at 6 W. 14th Street. 
 
Owner Brittany Baum and her husband, Tim, became pretzel enthusiasts after visiting Germany in 2008.
 
“I’m a vegetarian, and it’s hard to be one in Germany,” Baum says. “I lived off of Bavarian pretzels during our travels.”
 
When she returned to her native Columbus, Baum couldn’t find pretzels that compared to those in Germany. She and a friend spent hours in the kitchen, perfecting their recipe, and sold them at farmers’ markets from 2008-2011. In March 2011, they opened the first Brezel location at Columbus’ North Market.
 
After visiting Cincinnati last August, Baum fell in love with OTR.
 
“It reminded me a lot of the Short North neighborhood in Columbus,” she says. “It has a raw feeling to it. It felt unrefined, artistic and on the verge of self-discovery. I knew I wanted to play a role in creating OTR.”
 
Brezel is best known for its original salt pretzel, but there are 30 different flavors to choose from, including French Onion and Asiago, Peppercorn and Mozzarella, Jalapeno and Cheddar, Roasted Garlic and Cheddar, and Coconut and Almond. The menu includes pretzel twists, pretzel bites and scratch-made dips, as well as buns, soup bowls and pizza crust, which are all made from pretzel dough.
 
“I believe in working with other small businesses to collaborate and create interesting products, and I hope to share that vision with other businesses in OTR,” Baum says.
 
She hopes to open Brezel in time for Oktoberfest, but there is no set date yet. Hours of operation will include mid-morning through the evening, as well as late-night hours on the weekend.
 
“Brezel will be a place for people to grab a quick bite before or after work, as well as late night,” Baum says.

OTR mural to serve as gateway to Brewery District

A mural designed by Keith Neltner of Neltner Small Batch will soon adorn the bricks of 131 E. McMicken Ave, the former site of the Schmidt Brothers/Crown Brewery. Work on the mural has begun, and will be completed Aug. 1.
 
When finished, the mural will depict two men crowning a pint glass of beer. It was funded by grants through ArtWorks, and is being created by Neltner and a team of 15 other artists. It will be the first of three installations to complement the Brewing Heritage Trail.
 
“The mural is inspired by the incredible history and resurgence our city is experiencing,” Neltner says. “This mural features building a monument to beer’s rich history, crowning it (literally) in the Queen City. The ‘Earth rewards’ headline communicates that the earth has given us the raw materials from which we created and built an industry, culture and city. Rich patterns and graphic line work will create stopping power and a dramatic gateway into the Brewery District. Described as ‘blue collar,’ yet urban and contemporary.”
 
The mural will serve as a tourist spot on the Brewing Heritage Trail, as well as a point of interest for the neighborhood.
 
“Murals bring a most beautiful energy and vibrancy into urban spaces,” says Chelsea Koglemeier of Roadtrippers, whose building will host the mural. “I love the way kids are getting involved and people on the street stop to check it out.”

Vintage-inspired clothing store coming to OTR

In 2007, Ryan Vesler founded HOMAGE as a wholesale company that specialized in graphic T-shirts. It has since grown into an online business, then a brick-and-mortar store in Columbus in 2010, and a larger store in 2012. This fall, HOMAGE will open a location in Over-the-Rhine.
 
The 1,500-square foot store, located at 1232 Vine St., will offer the company’s vintage-inspired, U.S.-made graphic tees, sweatshirts, sweatpants and accessories.
 
“We’ve been excited about the Cincinnati market for a long time,” says Jason Block, HOMAGE’s president. “There’s an energetic, enthusiastic fan base here, and our product has resonated with them.”
 
HOMAGE’s Columbus location sports an NBA Jam arcade machine, a Coca-Cola machine, championship banners and memorabilia unique to the city. Block says the OTR location is undergoing some renovations to bring personality to the space, and will probably include some of the details of the Columbus store.
 
The OTR HOMAGE will also offer licensed University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, University of Dayton and University of Miami-Ohio gear.
 
“We want to be part of the community,” Block says. “We want our personality and authenticity to add to what OTR already has to offer.”

Pendleton Street Townhomes to offer single-family housing in OTR

In the next year, the Pendleton area of Over-the-Rhine will have five new single-family houses. Pendleton Street Townhomes will include one 1870s renovation, located at 1533 Pendleton, and four new builds. The project is being developed by Pendleton Ventures, LLC, and is being funded by the City and the Cincinnati Development Fund.
 
Construction began on July 1, although some preliminary emergency stabilization was done on this past winter. The townhomes should be complete in 9-12 months, and ready for move-in shortly after.
 
“We want to provide a format for families to move into the city,” says Edward Wright of Wright Design, LLC. “This is a great place to raise a family, with lots to do. Why not create a place for families to live like they would in the suburbs?”
 
Each townhouse will have three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, as well as a two-car garage. Homeowners will have the option of adding a rooftop deck or a deck on the back of the house.
 
All of the houses will be LEED certified and will have a mostly grass backyard with a concrete pad for parking. The houses that don’t have a side alley for trash cans will also have a “trash yard” attached to the house and screened from the street, with a balcony above that overlooks the street. 

In order to make the buildings look original, custom caster work will be done on the front of each house.
 
“There have been vacant properties in this area for years, and it’s exciting to be putting some of the buildings back,” Wright says.
 
The second phase of Pendleton Street Townhomes will include five units on Spring Street across the street from those on Pendleton. Although the buildings have a slightly different character, they will feature many of the same amenities as Phase I, Wright says.
 
443 Over-the-Rhine Articles | Page: | Show All
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