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Loveland-based TRIVACO to open environmentally constructed facility in Hebron

Construction began on Tristate Valves and Controls, Inc.’s, new 40,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility in Hebron on July 15. The project, which is being designed and built by Al. Neyer, is slated to be completed by the end of the year.
 
The development is located in Hebron’s Riverview Business Park off I-275. It will contain 12,000 square feet of office space, and the rest will house a high-tech manufacturing facility. It will be home to more than 60 current TRIVACO employees, and will create about 45 new engineering, customer service and sales jobs in the next few years.
 
The $2.5 million project was funded in part by SBA financing; Tri-ED helped place TRIVACO in Northern Kentucky. TRIVACO serves industrial markets in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and West Virginia.
 
Al. Neyer is doing something a bit different with the construction of the building. It’s called tilt-up construction, which means that the walls are cast out of concrete panels on-site, and are lifted at the same time to receive the building’s roof.
 
“Tilt-up construction is common in Cincinnati for industrial and office buildings, but there aren’t that many buildings that have been constructed this way,” says Mark Vela, vice president of business development for Al. Neyer. “We’ve been doing it for 20 years, as have a few other companies.”
 
Al. Neyer is also constructing the building with recycled, local materials to make the project environmentally friendly. The project is set up for expansion with future growth of TRIVACO.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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UC residence hall gets facelift, total renovation

The University of Cincinnati’s Morgens Hall, which sits at the corner of West Campus near the intersection of Martin Luther King and Jefferson Avenue, underwent renovations for the coming school year. The 144-unit apartment-style residential hall was designed in collaboration with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects.
 
Morgens Hall contains 456 beds on levels 100 to 1200, with two penthouse apartments on level 1400 for the resident coordinator and assistant resident coordinator. The two-person small studios; two-person standard studios; three-person, two-bedroom apartments; and eight-person, five-bedroom apartments are open to students of all academic classifications.
 
Each apartment features first-of-its-kind furniture, which was developed by UC H&FS staff, along with an industry partner. The dresser-desk combo expands and contracts to save floor space.
 
Renovations to the hall included replacing the old concrete-and-brick exterior with 2,000 glass panels. The panels feature a high-tech design that provides better insulation to the building due to the low-emissive properties of the glass. UC hopes the panels will elevate Morgens Hall to LEED-certified status.
 
The glass panels have adjustable privacy screens that are 98 percent opaque and are thermal weaved for energy conservation. The panels also have a white linear pattern on them, which is called “fritting”—the reflective pattern adds another degree of insulation to the glass by decreasing solar heat gain by 20 percent.
 
Other green efforts were made during the renovation process, including reusing the old building. Plus, on-campus living helps to reduce the use of cars because students can walk, ride their bicycles or take shuttles to and from classes.
 
Multiple-occupancy units are $3,938 per person per semester, and single-occupancy bedrooms in the two- or five-bedroom apartments are $4,175 per person per semester; meal plans are not included in this pricing.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Elm Street Senior Housing offers affordable housing to seniors in OTR

Construction began last month on the renovation of 1500-06 Elm Street, which in May 2014, will open as Elm Street Senior Housing. It will be the first and only senior housing project in Over-the-Rhine, and serves as the first project that will meet needs of accessibility, affordability and support services for this group.
 
The 14,545-square-foot project, which is owned and being developed by Over-the-Rhine Community Housing with Model Group Construction as the general contractor, will house 14 units of affordable senior housing, plus one live-in building manager. An elevator is being added to the building so seniors can access all three floors. The first floor will also offer a handful of senior services.
 
“Our mission is to help maintain the diverse community of OTR, and this is a huge step forward,” says Ashleigh Finke, project manager at OTRCH. “There’s now going to be a place for seniors to live in the neighborhood.”
 
Elm Street Senior Housing will be LEED silver certified because of its energy efficiency efforts. All of the building’s equipment will be high-efficiency, Finke says.
 
The total cost of the project is about $4 million, with construction costs close to $3 million. It’s being funded through historic tax credits, low-income housing tax credits and the HUD 202 grant for senior housing.
 
“One of the most unique things about the project is that it has to remain affordable senior housing for 40 years,” she says. “It’s not something that’s going to come and go. It will remain serving the needs of the seniors in OTR for a long time.”
 
OTRCH isn’t new to development—it has been around in one form or another since 1978. The nonprofit focuses on property management, property development, community building, and education and advocacy.
 
The building itself has been around for 150 years—Christian Moerlein Brewery Company purchased the site in 1863, and the building was constructed in 1864 to serve as the brewery’s icehouse. Moerlein owned the property for the next 56 years, until it was sold in 1919 during Prohibition. It also served as a saloon, grocery store, food store, market, lunch restaurant, barber, billiards hall and rental flat.
 
Elm Street Senior Housing is slated to be complete by May 2014. Units are available for rent, and interested seniors can apply through OTRCH. Rent is subsidized with HUD 202 money so no tenant will pay more than 30 percent of their income—total rent, including the tenant's portion and the subsidy will be around $470 per month.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Saloon Tours adds beer tasting to 'Brothels, Bootleggers and Booze'

Saloon Tours is known for its tours of Cincinnati's saloons, but throughout the month of August, the "Brothels, Bootleggers & Booze Tour" will include a post-tour tasting. Each week, different craft breweries and distilleries will be featured.

The tours, which are led by Michael Morgan, president of Queen City History and founder of heritage tourism in Cincinnati, start at 11 a.m. every Saturday in August at Arnold's Bar & Grill; the tastings immediately follow the tour.
 
“My goal is to really bring a fresh perspective to Cincinnati,” says Morgan. “The city has a rich history, and it’s very old for an American city. Cincinnatians haven’t done a very good job of retaining that history or celebrating it, or even knowing it. I want to turn people onto that rich history and make it enjoyable for them.”
 
This is the first time “Brothels, Bootleggers & Booze” has included a tasting. “Part of the inspiration behind it was that Arnold’s just got in a new 23-tap handle system, so they’re going to have the best selection of local beers of anyone in Cincinnati,” says Morgan.
 
The featured breweries and distilleries for August included Christian Moerlein (Aug. 3) and Listermann Brewing (Aug. 10). Middle West Spirits, which makes handcrafted OYO brand vodkas, bourbons and ryes out of Columbus, will be at the Aug. 17 tasting, and Rhinegeist is on tap for Aug. 24 and Blank Slate Brewing will be featured Aug. 31.
 
Arnold’s was built in 1838 as a brothel, and is Cincinnati’s oldest continuously operating saloon—it became a saloon in 1861. Tour guests get the inside scoop and colorful history of the saloon, and take a walking tour of Cincinnati’s dozens of breweries, distilleries and almost 2,000 saloons that made the city notorious for drunkenness and mayhem. The tours start and end at Arnold’s.
 
The tour and tasting combos are $30, and tours without the tasting are $25. Tickets are available on the Saloon Tours' website.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Work Flow brings yoga to the office, stretching minds and limbs together

Need a stress reliever for you and your employees? Try Work Flow Yoga, the yoga studio that comes to you.
 
Meredith Amann, owner of Work Flow, moved back to her hometown of Cincinnati in December after spending about six years in San Francisco, two years in Philadelphia and three months in New York. In March, she started SpringBoard Cincinnati and finished in May—she launched Work Flow in June.
 
Work Flow classes are based in the tradition of Ashtanga and Hatha yoga, and they focus on safe alignment and maintaining the connection to your breathing. The sessions are non-competitive and are designed for beginners and those with more experience. They are 30-60 minutes and can be held once or twice a week in your workplace.
 
“It’s nice to have flexibility in terms of me coming to them,” says Amann. “It’s one person traveling as opposed to a group of people—and it’s one car on the road instead of 20.”
 
When Amann decided to pursue her yoga training and move to Cincinnati, she thought about a brick-and-mortar studio. But she decided she wanted to offer yoga to those who sat at their desks all day long, and a traveling studio made more sense for that.
 
To date, Amann has taught yoga classes at a handful of small nonprofit companies. If you’re interested in having a class taught at your office, call 513-370-9088 or email Amann at meredith@yogaworkflow.com to schedule a meeting.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Artbeat brings unique artwalk concept to Short Vine

Janet Berberich and Ben Jason Neal of Eye Candy Design wanted to find a way to introduce people to the businesses on Short Vine and artwork at the same time. Their solution was Artbeat on Short Vine, which is held the first Friday of each month.
 
“In the past, Short Vine survived because of the entertainment options it offered, but we want to give people another reason to visit,” says Berberich.
 
The idea is to showcase different pieces of artwork in each venue, and people walk between venues to see the full show. Venues like Bogart’s, the 86 Club, Neihoff Design, 71 Gallery, Beelistic Tattoo and Eye Candy participated in the August Artbeat.
 
“Artbeat is about walking a path,” says Neal. “It implies the beat of music and the heartbeat of the street.”
 
The dead end in front of Kroger gives Short Vine the feel of a neighborhood within a larger town, says Berberich. It has a little bit of everything—entertainment, food and art.
 
“Our goal is to bring in a crowd that’s outside of the area’s demographic, and bring new energy and rejuvenation,” says Neal.
 
The next Artbeat is scheduled for Sept. 6. If you’re interested in participating, contact Neal at 513-371-3782 or ben@creativeeyecandy.com. Display art, live music, the spoken word, performance art and pop-up gallery projects are all encouraged.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Cumin undergoing changes with new chef

Cumin Eclectic Cuisine has seen a number of changes in the past few weeks, including a new chef and menu. Matthew Cranert, who has been the chef for four months at M Wood Fired Oven next door, plans to rely on simple ingredients and good cooking at Cumin.
 
Cranert was born and raised in northern California and spent his summers working in his grandfather’s restaurant in Hawaii. After graduating high school, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked in several restaurants in San Francisco. He then returned to Hawaii, and worked under chefs like Sam Choy and Roy Yamaguchi, who taught him to balance French and Asian flavors.
 
Cranert, his wife Stacey and their 7-year-old recently moved to Cincinnati for the opportunity to work in the food scene. Before M, Cranert worked in different restaurants around the city, including Senate. Now Cranert spends his nights running back and forth between the kitchen at M and the kitchen at Cumin.
 
“I want to bring more of what’s going on in other cities to Cincinnati,” he says. “I’ve lived all over and traveled a lot, and want to go head-to-head with New York City and Chicago.”
 
Growing up, Cranert was exposed to Latino and Asian flavors, but was influenced by his mother’s Southern cooking and Hawaiian food as well.
 
“I like to call upon all different flavors,” he says. “There’s a good meld between Asian, Southern and French cooking. People specialize in certain cuisines, but I think you need to learn to throw down with everything, and we’re going to be doing a bit of everything at Cumin.”
 
Cranert wants to make Cumin the best it can be. He has already flipped Cumin’s menu, and plans to change it weekly.

By Caitlin Koenig
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New food tradition coming to Over-the-Rhine

On Aug. 10, Over-the-Rhine restaurants and businesses will be participating in the first ever Taste of Over-the-Rhine. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Washington Park.
 
Taste of Over-the-Rhine celebrates the tastes, flavors and sounds of OTR through food, art, music, shopping and the people of the neighborhood.
 
The event is being put on by Tender Mercies, which provides permanent housing to about 150 formerly homeless adults who have mental illnesses. Its building and residences are located at 12th, Race and Elm streets in OTR. As a member of the community, Tender Mercies wants to be a neighborhood partner for OTR residents and business owners.
 
“The event is meant to provide another community and neighborhood element to OTR,” says Casey Gilmore, partner at Cincy Events Management. “All of the businesses that are participating are locally owned, not chains.”
 
The food and drink vendors that are participating in the event are The Anchor-OTR, Eli’s Barbeque, Coffee Emporium, Findlay Market, The Lackman, Lavomatic, MOTR Pub, Taste 513, Venice on Vine, Moerlein, Lucy Blue Pizza, Kaze and Street Pops. Food trucks Dojo Gelato, Café de Wheels and Urban Grill will also be part of Taste of Over-the-Rhine.
 
All OTR restaurants were asked to participate—featured restaurants said “yes” based on their staffing for the weekend.
 
Food and drink prices will be low, around $4 or $5. There will also be a tasting element for dogs, where they can try out different dog food from Pet Wants, the Findlay Market pet store.
 
There will be music too. The main stage will feature acts such as Joanie Whittaker, Peraza Music Workshop, Hayden Kaye, The Almighty Get Down, Cla-Zels, Golden Shoes, Magnolia Mountain and Wussy.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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New online tool aims to keep Cincinnati residents engaged in their neighborhoods

On July 24, the City of Cincinnati adopted Nextdoor, a free, private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. The goal is to improve community engagement between the City and its residents, and foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications.
 
Each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods will have its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, which is accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. City administrations and several city departments will also use Nextdoor to share important news, services, programs, free events and emergency notifications to residents, but they won’t be able to see who is registered to use the site or the conversations among residents.
 
Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood. The site was tested in 175 neighborhoods across the country, and results showed that neighborhoods had some of the same issues, plus a variety of different issues.
 
“We all remember what our neighborhood experience was like as kids, when everyone knew each other, looked out for one another and stayed in the community longer," says Sarah Leary, co-founder of Nextdoor. “We want to invoke that nostalgia for neighborhoods.”
 
To date, Nextdoor is being used by about 17,000 neighborhoods across the country. In June, Nextdoor partnered with New York City and Mayor Bloomberg to communicate with the city’s 8.3 million residents. The site plans to roll out in other major cities like Cincinnati over the course of the next several months.
 
Nextdoor also recently released its iPhone app. “We’re really putting the lifeline of the neighborhood into the palm of the residents’ hands,” says Leary. “The common thread is an interest in using technology to make connections with neighbors. But it doesn’t stop there—once people have an easy way to communicate, they’re more likely to get together in the real world.”
 
You can sign up for Nextdoor on its website, or download the app in the App Store.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Flowers From Fatima takes love of gardening to hair accessories

Growing up, Fatima Spencer spent a lot of time gardening with her father.
 
“My dad started a community beautification program in the low-income neighborhood I grew up in,” she says.
 
His goal was to revitalize the neighborhood through flowers and gardening, and change how it looked and how people felt about it. While helping her father garden, Spencer would wear real flowers in her hair, and eventually, she started making hair accessories with artificial flowers.
 
She started her online Etsy business, Flowers From Fatima, after her father passed away in December 2009. Her goal is to bring beauty and light to the world, along with new trends.
 
“I don’t see many women accessorizing with hair flowers,” she says.
 
Flowers From Fatima is mainly online, but Spencer sells her hair flowers in a few salons—one in North Carolina, one in Florida and one downtown Cincinnati—and at Mizti on Ludlow Avenue.
 
Spencer hopes to broaden her client base and sell her flowers in other local boutiques before possibly starting one of her own.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Local ad agency competes for cash prize from Fifth Third Bank

Red212, a female-owned advertising agency, is competing for a $10,000 cash prize from Fifth Third Bank. The competition is part of Fifth Third’s new “Curious Customer” ad campaign, which highlights the stories of real business customers. The campaign features the stories of local businesses that have relied on Fifth Third to help them achieve their visions.
 
Before Red212, its president and CEO Anne Chambers worked in a small production unit at P&G. The company decided to divest of non-core assets, and asked if Chambers wanted to purchase it. She put a team together and in the end, won the bid, with financing from Fifth Third.
 
Red212 was nominated for the competition by the local Fifth Third Business Banking team because it’s a great example of a curious customer, which is due to Chambers’ inspiration and how her business has grown and changed over the years.
 
First place wins $10,000; Fifth Third will also award $5,000 to the second place business and $2,500 to the third place business.
 
The contest runs through Sept. 30. You can vote online at 53.com/curiosityatwork.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Madeira soon to be home to Woodland Vistas

Woodland Vistas, a new townhome project, will be developed by Andy Howe from Cranewoods Development and will be designed by CR architecture + design. Construction was halted on the project when the market went south, and Howe purchased the property, threw out the old developer’s plans and drew up new ones.
 
Howe, a Cincinnati native, previously purchased two stalled Cincinnati projects, redesigned them, recapitalized and sold them out. He just completed the conversion of a 1901 historic district stable and livery built by the Cincinnati Gas Light and Coke Company downtown into seven urban lofts. Woodland Vistas is Howe’s fifth project in Cincinnati.
 
At Woodland Vistas, Howe down-densed the number of units from the previous developer’s plan, and is in the process of having it redesigned into a 16-unit authentic arts and crafts community. The townhomes will be grouped in twos and threes, with two floors each.
 
There is one existing building on the property that will be transformed with similar details as the “to be built” buildings, says Howe. 

In addition to the river view, location and architecture, the private lane will have paver walks and drives, gas streetlights and a gas light at every door, plus an entertaining view terrace. The upper units will have Craftsman arbor patios with summer kitchens and planting beds, while the common “view terrace” will have a Craftsman arbor, fire pit and a restored set of coin binoculars from Niagra Falls, complete with a brass plaque that gives the dates the binoculars were in actual use at the Falls.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Local wedding vendors start studio in Newport

Kristen Becker of Five Dot Design, Marti Heard of Marti’s Floral Designs, Kelly Ledford of Cinci Makeup, Jacalyn Mains of JMM Photography and Julie Schmidt of Cincy Event Planning started out as a group of wedding vendors who were looking for office space to accommodate themselves and all of their stuff. But the ladies of 915 Monmouth knew it needed to be eclectic, just like them.
 
Heard initially found the space on Monmouth Street in Newport. It wasn’t much to look at, but after six months of renovations, the space is now a mix of contemporary and reclaimed pieces that reflect who the women are.
 
915 Monmouth officially opened in October 2011, and it’s not just used as an office for wedding consultations and makeup trials. It’s also a space that members of the community can rent for weddings and receptions, baby showers, bridal showers, luncheons and personal parties.
 
The women of 915 Monmouth have also hosted three Junk in the Trunk events, which serve as a flea market for brides-to-be. Before the event, former brides are invited to drop off ceremony or reception decorations they no longer want, and then future brides can come and shop.
 
“We don’t want to be cookie-cutter or like other wedding vendors,” says Becker. “And although it’s not a new concept to have multiple vendors under one roof, it’s different to have all of us working in the studio and not just taking up one corner of the studio.”
 
And just because a bride books one of the women for her wedding doesn’t mean she has to book all five vendors. “There’s no pressure or competition,” says Schmidt.
 
915 Monmouth was featured in the before and after section of Design*Sponge, a Brooklyn-based design blog.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Huit to bring huge flavor to the Cincinnati restaurant scene

Although Huit doesn’t have a physical restaurant location yet, its ribs are already making a big splash with Cincinnati foodies. Owners Jennifer Eng, Tobias Harris and Trang Vo have taken their ribs to food festivals around town—most recently, they were at the Asian Food Festival.
 
“We sold out by about 75 percent the first day,” says Harris. “People really liked our food and kept asking where they could get it.”
 
Eng, Harris and Vo hope to bring a taste of international flavor to Cincinnati, but they don’t want to be thought of as an Asian restaurant or a rib place. They hope to carve their own niche in the restaurant scene.
 
Harris, who has lived in the Cincinnati area for 10 years, wants to expose diners to new experiences at Huit.
 
The menu at Huit—which means “eight” in French—will be small, but will pack a flavorful punch.
 
The three owners of Huit have grown up in families that love to eat, but they all went to college for design. Harris attended architectural school in Asia and began designing hotels. He came to the United States for graduate school—since then, Harris has designed restaurants and even worked for one of the biggest restaurant designers in Chicago.
 
“I’ve traveled all over the world and am always eating,” he says. “In restaurants, I’m all about the taste of it, the soul. If the restaurant doesn’t feel yummy, there’s no point.”
 
At Huit, Trang will be responsible for everything from the design to the build-out; Eng is in charge of creating unique food and drinks; and Harris as the chef is going back to his childhood when he helped his mother and seven aunts cook.
 
By January 2014, look for Huit either downtown or in Covington or Northside—they’re still in negotiations for a space but have several options. Harris hopes to have the restaurant’s grand opening next spring.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Meatball Kitchen to host pop-up dinner; restaurant coming soon

Need something quick, cheap and yummy for dinner? Stop by the Kitchen Factory in Northside tomorrow for Meatball Kitchen’s pop-up dinner. It’s from 6 to 9 p.m., and will feature a simple menu of meatballs and a special, a bacon cheddar meatball burger.
 
Meatball Kitchen doesn’t currently have a storefront, but owner Dan Katz says that in about four months, he’ll be opening a location in Clifton on Vine Street. It’s going to be like an upgraded Chipotle, he says, with counter service and an inexpensive menu. The physical restaurant will also serve liquor
 
“It’s amazing to be part of the foodie scene here,” says Katz. “The food is great, and I really want it to be the future of fast food one day. I feel like eating well isn’t a luxury, and it’s nice to be able to go somewhere and spend less than $10 for a whole meal. We shouldn’t be making a big deal out of wanting to eat well.”
 
Katz’s meatball recipe is something he’s been working on for a while. His concept is that you can take any recipe and turn it into a meatball. For example, he served a gyro-style meatball sandwich at one of Meatball Kitchen’s pop-up dinners.
 
Right now, Katz gets all of his ingredients at Jungle Jim’s, but he wants to eventually bake his own bread and get his meat from a butcher at Findlay Market.
 
“My approach is a bit different, and it’s a little bit of a surprise,” says Katz.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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