Urban Revitalization catalyst grants given to projects that will reduce blight and building vacancies, create jobs, and increase business retention/expansion and workforce training opportunities
Program aims to spur additional economic development activities in the community
Duke Energy has issued $1.88 million in grants to 58 projects in Ohio and Kentucky since the redevelopment program launched in 2011
CINCINNATI -- Greater Cincinnati's urban cores – and the lives of their residents – will continue to improve and benefit from transformational redevelopment projects thanks to Duke Energy's Urban Revitalization grants. Earlier today, the company announced 10 projects that will receive $307,352 in catalyst grants to support urban redevelopment and stimulate growth, job creation and further investments in our local communities.
"Our urban cores are the hearts of our communities," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. "Today, they present opportunities for positive change and prosperity. These important collaborations will create jobs, spur additional commercial activity, and serve as hubs for these communities and their residents for generations to come."
Since 2011, Duke Energy has provided $1.88 million in Urban Revitalization funding to 58 projects in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Projects include Braxton Brewing Company, Madcap Puppet Theater, Carabello Coffee, Cincinnati State's Middletown campus and Gateway Community & Technical College's Urban Metro campus. Read more about how past Urban Revitalization grants have spurred economic development in Greater Cincinnati.
Today's grant announcement was held at Hotel Covington, which received an Urban Revitalization grant in 2013. The event featured each grant recipient, as well as Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, Hotel Covington developer Guy van Rooyen, Jim Henning and Duke Energy Executive Vice President Julie Janson. Janson previously served as president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky from 2008 to 2012.
Here are summaries of the projects that were awarded grants today.
- Community Improvement Corporation of Silverton
$35,000 for Silverton Brewing Company
The Community Improvement Corporation of Silverton's grant will actually facilitate two redevelopment projects along Montgomery and Plainfield roads in the village's central business district. First, it will help the Silverton Brewing Company repurpose the historic Silverton Memorial Municipal Building into a craft brewery, restaurant and taproom. Second, the grant will contribute toward the Village of Silverton's plans to repurpose a former funeral home into a new village administration building.
- Downtown Middletown Inc.
$15,400 for Snider Building
Downtown Middletown's Snider Building – also known as the Sunshine Building – is a critical component of the rebirth of the city's urban core. Once renovated, the building will house a microbrewery and taproom, anchor the revitalization of the downtown business district and lead to more than 40 new jobs. Also, the microbrewery will give students in Cincinnati State's new brewery program critical hands-on experience.
- Downtown Middletown Inc.
$18,700 for Manchester Building
The reincarnation of the Manchester Hotel in downtown Middletown will serve as an anchor and catalyst in the redevelopment of the city's urban core. The 70-room, full-service boutique hotel and conference center will lead to 70 new jobs. The hotel will also partner with Cincinnati State so students studying culinary arts and hospitality will be able to get hands-on experience unavailable at any other college in the area.
- Hamilton County Development Corp.
$20,000 for small business coaching in Reading
Hamilton County Development Corp. will match business experts with local business owners for one-on-one coaching. The goal is to help businesses refine their business plans, sharpen marketing, improve operations and grow. Reading is home to one of the largest wedding districts in the United States, hosting 54 wedding merchants serving a full range of bridal needs.
- Keep Cincinnati Beautiful
$30,000 for community resources to revamp vacant lots
Vacant lots are at the forefront of the discussion on development and will continue to play a vital role in the long-term vision and planning of Cincinnati's communities. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful will use its grant money to create the Duke Energy Learning Lot (DELL) program, which will be a comprehensive community-based workshop series and toolkit designed to help neighborhoods strategically restore and enhance vacant lots into socially, culturally and environmentally responsible assets. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful will also engage local schools to get students outside, learning about environmental issues and STEM-related studies on green infrastructure – exposing students to issues surrounding the environment through curriculum-based environmental classroom education, field trips and service learning projects.
- Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation Inc.
$35,000 for pre-development of former grocery store property
Walnut Hills became a food desert earlier this year when the local grocery store closed its doors after 30 years. Now, the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation is partnering with the community to determine how to best use the property moving forward. The Urban Revitalization grant will be put toward community engagement, architectural design and an RFP process that will be informed by the community.
- Westwood Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.
$33,752 for redevelopment of Firehouse No. 35
Historic Firehouse No. 35 building is a mainstay in the Westwood Historic Business District. The community's urban redevelopment group has targeted the site for a new family-friendly restaurant that will serve as a destination anchor – alongside the Madcap Center and West Side Brewing. Such a restaurant will fill an unmet need for community members, create jobs and attract additional visitors and businesses.
- The Catalytic Fund
$51,300 for Sixth and Vine project in Dayton
The Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky will use an Urban Revitalization grant toward the conversion of a historic building at Sixth Avenue and Vine Street in Dayton, Ky., from residential back to mixed use. Once the renovation is complete, the building will house a coffee shop and event space, and will be used by nearby artists collective The Lodge for added capacity for its existing events. In addition to repurposing the property, the Catalytic Fund hopes the work encourages surrounding property owners to invest in their own properties, too.
- The Catalytic Fund
$50,000 for Road ID headquarters in Covington
A former self-storage building at Eighth and Washington streets in Covington will be remade into the headquarters of Road ID – a local, family-owned business that manufactures custom products to help first responders identify people in case of an emergency. Once renovations are complete, the building will house Road ID's office, manufacturing, assembly and warehousing space. And, in addition to the company's 42 full-time and 60 part-time and seasonal employees, Road ID expects to hire 30 full-time and 30 part-time employees over the next five years.
- The Catalytic Fund
$18,200 for Newport Food Port in Newport
Incubator Kitchen Collective (IKC) is a nonprofit in Newport that helps Greater Cincinnati food entrepreneurs and startups overcome barriers that can prevent local food businesses from getting off the ground. IKC has helped more than 50 small businesses grow and realize their potential. The Catalytic Fund is working with IKC to expand its kitchen facility so the group can increase occupancy and output, and create direct and indirect jobs.
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky's operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 529,000 customers.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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Media contact: Lee Freedman
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