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b. a. sweetie candy to open new $3.5m superstore in old brooklyn

Tom Scheiman believes in doing things the old-fashioned way. Some things are just better that way. Take candy, for instance: His store, B. A. Sweetie Candy, also known as Sweeties, is the largest candy store in America. Shoppers will find things there that are available nowhere else, like candy cigarettes, which, while not politically correct, are a top seller.

Last year, Sweeties attracted over 250,000 customers to its store. On any given day, the venue has $2 million worth of candy inventory on store shelves.

And now, after multiple expansions to his original space at 7480 Brook Park Road in Brooklyn, Scheiman is constructing an all new, 40,000-square-foot candy emporium in Old Brooklyn -- the old-fashioned way: no debt, no grants, no incentives. Just his own cash that he's socked away for years selling candy.

The $3.5-million project will feature a 36-hole mini-golf course called Sweeties Golfland (18 holes already are open). In the coming years, Scheiman also has plans to build another 18 holes -- Candyland-themed, of course -- and an ice cream shop. He purchased the five-acre property from an estate in 2012.

A highly visible sign featuring a 40-foot lollipop soon will rise along I-480, where approximately 135,000 cars pass by on a daily basis. Talk about a great marketing opportunity.

"I've been in the candy business since I was 15 years old," says Scheiman, who purchased Sweeties in 1982 and has seen it grow by about 10 percent each year. The company employs about 40 people. "I don't know how to do anything else."

If you've been to Sweeties, you know it offers good deals in a warehouse-style environment. The new store, which Scheiman says is 90 percent complete and is expected to open later this year, will continue in that tradition. "I’m not about being a hootie tootie, frilly, wood floor, beautiful lighting type of store," he quips. "I’m about volume, and I’m value priced. It’s my business philosophy. I'd rather have a little dust on my shelves and sell you a candy bar at 67 cents than offer you the same bar at $1.29 because I've got a wood floor and halogen lighting."

Sweeties is known for its incredible selection and variety, including throwback items available at few other places. The new, larger store will offer even more display space. One prominent feature will be a 30-foot-long, 12-foot-tall Jelly Belly display that reportedly holds $100,000 worth of jelly beans. At the entrance, visitors will be greeted by a restored '32 Ford truck once used to deliver candy.

The company is unusual because it sells both wholesale and retail. Yet its direct-to-consumer approach keeps prices down at the store, which has become a family destination. As Scheiman puts it, "There is no middle man. I am the middle man."

Thinking about securing a five-finger discount on any of those sweets? Don't. Scheiman is installing 32 cameras throughout his new showroom. "We've been doing this a few weeks," he says.
Scheiman predicts that about 400,000 people will visit his store next year. The new Sweeties Candy and Golfland will be located at 6770 Brook Park Road, on site of the old Brookpark Fun and Games. Golfland is now open Sunday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.

landmark detroit shoreway building will be reborn as 30-unit apartment building

The Templin Bradley Company building, the stout brick frame of which has served as a gateway to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood for the past 100 years, once housed the nation's largest seed and bulb company. Templin Bradley gave away literally hundreds of thousands of seeds and bulbs during the Depression, and was a leader in helping citizens start victory gardens during World War II.

Yet this landmark property at 5700 Detroit has been vacant and boarded up for over 10 years, collecting weeds and trash. Plans to remake it into loft condos floundered during the recession. But now that property will be reborn as a 30-unit apartment building, slated to open next spring. Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) and its partners have worked doggedly over the past few years to assemble the development plans and financing to get this long-sought project off the ground.

"It's been a major eyesore along Detroit Avenue, and really remains the largest problem property there," says Matt Lasko, Assistant Director of DSCDO. "It's really important for us as a CDC to be able to preserve its history and story."

The project will consist of 15 affordable apartments and 15 market-rate units. The redevelopment will return the building to its original 1916 look, which includes the reinstallation of fabric awnings on the first floor, the re-creation of a master stairwell on the front of the building, and the restoration of a seed bed along Detroit that Templin Bradley once used to test and advertise its products.

The front of the building also will feature a prominent public art installation and a quasi-public space with benches that can be enjoyed by residents and the public.

The building will offer secure indoor parking on the first floor and unique living spaces above. There will be four artist live-work spaces with lower levels designed for painting, sculpting and other artistic endeavors. The units will have concrete floors, high ceilings, exposed ductwork and expansive windows. Prices will range from $630 to $840 per month for one-bedroom units and $750 to $950 per month for two-bedroom suites.

Construction will begin next month, and DSCDO is hosting a groundbreaking event on Thursday, May 29 at 10 a.m.

The project is being developed by DSCDO in partnership with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Ohio Development Services Agency, Huntington Bank, City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, The National Endowment for the Arts, Vintage Development and Marous brothers construction.

healthcare startup outgrows launchhouse, expands to heights rockefeller building

Eugene Malinskiy already is on his third startup and he's not even 30 yet. He created his first company when he was 16, later selling both for a profit. Now he's launched Dragon ID, a healthcare innovation and design firm that has grown from zero to 20 employees in the span of just two years.

Dragon ID is a biomedical startup that helps doctors and hospitals solve healthcare problems. The firm focuses on the medical device, health IT and surgery markets, and has a cross-functional team of whizzes to help healthcare professionals create solutions. The Dragon ID team is working on a number of products, but one that's getting buzz is EuCliD, which will be used in transcatheter aortic valve replacements to help prevent emboli from breaking away and causing blood clots or strokes.

Recently, Dragon ID moved from Shaker Launchhouse to the Heights Rockefeller building, where it is currently customizing its own space, including a lab, to accommodate growth. Malinskiy says the firm will benefit from having more professional offices and a location that's closer to where employees live.

"The City of Cleveland Heights was very welcoming," he says, referencing financial incentives that helped seal the deal. "They really want us here."

Malinskiy attributes Dragon ID's growth to the booming healthcare sector in Cleveland, where he can do business with the Clinic and other big players. "Being here, companies can come to us and say, 'We have this idea, what can you do?'"

Typically, Malinskiy and his cohorts receive an inquiry, then spend time vetting it, including attending surgeries, to understand the scope of the problem and potential solution. Once a solution is identified, the team builds a digital or physical prototype. Then, if the client decides to move forward, the company invests in bringing the product market through animal and human trials.

Dragon ID is internally funded through contracts with hospitals and doctors. The company has also won grant awards from MAGNET and the Innovation Fund.

piccadilly artisan creamery unveils concept behind new university circle location

The entrepreneurs behind Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt have unveiled the concept behind their new shop in University Circle. The Cleveland-based company's latest location, Piccadilly Artisan Creamery, will feature a style of ice cream and yogurt that is made using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze small batches of delicious ice cream.

This process of using liquid nitrogen to instantly craft yogurt and ice cream has grown rapidly on the West Coast, but Piccadilly is the first company in Cleveland to employ the technique. The process has three main benefits, say founders Adrian and Cosmin Bota: the rich and creamy texture it gives the frozen treats, the customization afforded to the customer, and the lack of preservatives needed when making it.

It all begins with the liquid nitrogen, which boils at an astounding -321 degrees Fahrenheit (that's several degrees colder than it was during the recent Polar Vortex). The nitrogen is added to the other ice cream ingredients in a mixer, where the nitrogen instantly freezes the contents on contact.

“We're really gonna let people go crazy and create their own thing,” Adrian explained during a demonstration on Thursday evening. Customers can decide what goes into their yogurt or ice cream and how soft or hard the texture will be. Because the ice cream or yogurt is being prepared fresh for each customer, preservatives are never necessary, which the owners claim results in a better-tasting product.

The Botas teamed up with designer Sailee Gupte, who helped transform the new store on Euclid. The tables and countertops are made of thick slabs of raw, live-edge wood. Exposed brick on walls gives the shop an edgy, urban feel. “Each area [Piccadilly] moves into has a specific feel and we want to pay homage to that," Sailee explained. To pay tribute to University Circle, the owners opted for “a more vintage and rustic theme.”

Piccadilly's owners have a passion for local, organic food that is evident in the menu offerings at their existing locations in Cleveland Heights and Ohio City. The owners buy from a local farm that does not use any preservatives, hormones or antibiotics, and they source other ingredients from the West Side Market. The Botas also will offer vegan yogurt options in the University Circle store.

“We’re just excited to be a part of this neighborhood," Bota told those in attendance.
The official grand opening of the new Piccadilly in University Circle is May 24th.

camino, a new mexican restaurant, has opened in the warehouse district

Camino, a new Mexican restaurant and "tequileria," has opened on West Ninth Street in the heart of the Warehouse District. Eddy Galindo, the restaurateur behind Luchita’s, opened the venue to provide a casual, everyday option for downtown’s growing residential base.
Camino aims to capture the neighborhood’s “up-and-coming and increasingly residential community,” explains manager Lindsey Henderson. The venue, which is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, serves tacos, wings, burgers, empanadas, salsas and guacamole. On the drinks side is a sizeable selection of tequilas, craft beer and margaritas.

The menu features small plates priced from $3 to $5, including flank steak, mango-chicken, and chicken tacos. Margarita flavors include cucumber and pineapple-chili, but mojitos also are a big crowd pleaser.

Camino's tasty food and drinks are accompanied by a modern, unique dining room. A long communal table sits in the middle of the room, providing guests with the option to dine family style. Spacious tables and a large bar provide plenty of additional seating. Patio seating also is available; Camino is in the process of obtaining a license so that guests can enjoy their margaritas outside.
The owners plan to honor regulars and neighbors by implementing a rewards card system that would give benefits and discounts to those who stop by frequently.

product development company seeks to invent next big thing from the heart of lakewood

When Tim Hayes told his family as a kid that he wanted to make a cardboard box fly, they laughed at him. Yet decades later, he drew on those childhood experiences to help name his two-year-old product development company after the kind of imaginative, "blue sky" thinking that he exhibited on that day. 

Cardboard Helicopter Product Development, as it is now called, might just be inventing the next big consumer product right from the heart of Lakewood.

"I've wanted to be an inventor forever," says Hayes, an industrial designer who started the company with two childhood friends that he's known for years, Sean Barry and Carlo Russo, and fellow Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) grad Mustafa Kalic. "That's kind of why I went to school, to do my own thing one day."

Although Cleveland isn't as well known for product development as coastal cities like San Francisco, and Hayes has watched dozens of talented coworkers leave the area over the years, the landscape is shifting. Companies are more open to ideas from outside than in the past, thanks in part to the trend of open innovation. Essentially, Cardboard Helicopter's founders spend their days pitching ideas to companies, in hopes that they'll get a chance to create the next big thing.

Hayes explains that the business is broken into three parts: contract industrial design for hire, where Cardboard Helicopter helps design a product that's already sketched out; product licensing, where the firm designs a product from scratch and then attempts to license it with a company; and manufacturing, where the company attempts to create its own products.

The company's 6,000-square-foot headquarters on Detroit in Lakewood's west end provide a veritable playground for dreaming up and creating new ideas. The upstairs is an open-space studio with a ping pong table and pool table "to help get the blood flowing once in a while," says Hayes. The downstairs has a shipping area, large kitchen and shop where products can be built and tested.

Hayes and most of his coworkers live in Lakewood and enjoy walking or biking to work. The company recently has done work for Enerco and Jokari, among others.

"In the next five years, we'll hopefully have hundreds of licensed products," says Hayes. "We're able to do everything at a very low cost, because we have industrial design resources here. [We're] about keeping creative talent here. I went to school and just watched everybody leave, but there are so many manufacturing companies here. I think people can stay here and have longevity."

entrepreneur to open women's clothing boutique on lorain avenue this summer

Ohio City is chock full of restaurants, breweries and culinary delights, yet one thing it lacks is shopping. Room Service, Salty Not Sweet and others have added some much welcome spice to the mix, but where's a girl to go for shoes?
Have no fear: Thanks to the addition of Blackbird Fly, a women's clothing boutique set to open this summer at W. 28th and Lorain, consider the problem solved.

"We'll be a true Cleveland clothing boutique," says Angelina Rodriguez Pata, a Detroit Shoreway native who finally has realized her dream of opening a store. "We're bringing in some really well made national brands, and we're also in talks with local artisans. The whole mantra we're going for is, 'As American-made as we can do it.' We're aiming for at least 75 percent American-made and locally made."

Pata is a metalsmithing artist who has stayed home with her four kids for the past few years. Now that they're older, she wanted to get back into the workforce. "I was never going to be happy doing anything unless it was creative. I said, 'I can do this, I have great taste in shoes and clothing, and they're dying for it over there.'"

Her goal was to create an approachable boutique where both locals and visitors could shop. She plans to carry items that will appeal to women in their 20s through 50s, and her price points won't be sky-high. "It won't be $350 for a pair of shoes," she says. "I'd say our price points will be $60 to $150 on average."

The charming storefront, which last housed Councilman Cimperman's campaign office, likely will go through the city's Storefront Renovation Program. That will mean a spruced-up exterior and new signage. The interior currently is divided into two spaces, but will be opened up into a single 1,100-square-foot shop. Pata plans to add tables and chairs to the front so visitors can hang out.

The name comes from Pata's favorite Beatles song, of course. "My mom was a hippie and my dad was a greaser," she says. "They were both very musical and in bands growing up. We always had music playing in our house, particularly the Beatles. I just love that song because it's about struggle, and that's life."

How did Pata land the prime retail space? She admits to stalking the landlord after he failed to return her calls. The last message she left is worth repeating, she notes.

"This is Angelina, I know you know who I am because I’ve called you like 15 times. Here’s the deal, I’m really interested in your space, but for goodness sake, if it's not available tell me and I’ll stop hunting you down ... Call me back!"

Soon enough, her phone rang and it was the landlord. Turns out, he'd simply been preoccupied with a homebuilding project. She signed the lease soon thereafter.

Pata, who plans to open by mid-August and have hours from Tuesday to Sunday, will carry prominent lines such as Blank NYC, Agave and Seychelles. She's excited to be in the middle of everything, steps from the West Side Market.

"I will promise one thing, it won't be a snobby, uncomfortable, boutique," she says. "You'll walk in and feel like you’ve grown up with me and known me forever."

west side community house to become cleveland's first bike-friendly apartment building

Damon Taseff, a principal with Allegro Realty who along with partners is undertaking the renovation of the historic West Side Community House in Ohio City into market-rate apartments, recently showed Fresh Water around. He also announced details of what he says will be "Cleveland's first bicycle-friendly apartment building."

The building is being redeveloped into 19 apartments, 4,000 square feet of office space and a Phoenix Coffee shop. It will feature not only a communal bike rack but also individual bike racks in each suite built from salvaged lumber. There will be a bike lounge in the basement where tools and other resources will be available, and membership with the nonprofit Bike Cleveland will be part of the amenity package that comes with signing a lease.

Bike Cleveland also is coming on board to coordinate at least one community cycling event at the building each year. The building will feature a bike-share program managed by Phoenix (there will be bikes in the basement that residents and visitors can borrow). Finally, Taseff is in talks with Joy Machines Bike Shop and the Ohio City Bike Co-op about bringing them in as partners, as well.

All in all, Taseff says he wants to set a standard for Cleveland and beyond when it comes to creating bike-friendly apartment buildings. "This is ground zero in the neighborhood -- you're dead center in the middle of everything," he says of the property at 3000 Bridge Avenue. "If you look at the national landscape, this is an emerging trend. When people talk about bike-friendly buildings, it's usually just a place to park your bike, but we really wanted to take it to the next level."

According to the City of Cleveland's recently announced plan, Bridge Avenue will be redeveloped as a bike route, making the area even more bike-friendly.

The building's parking lot does not have enough spaces for every resident to park a car, so Taseff is hoping the bike-friendly nature of the building will encourage some tenants to go car-free.

Taseff says it's very possible to live without a car in Cleveland, and he wants his project to help facilitate that lifestyle. "I did not have a car when I lived in Chicago," he says. "Let's design neighborhoods around people, not cars."

Other highlights include the custom finishes that are being incorporated into each suite, including hexagonal tile in the bathrooms and butcher block and steel kitchen islands courtesy of Rust Belt Welding and Soulcraft Woodshop.

The West Side Community House building is lined with windows on every side (all of which are relatively new and can be opened), affording views of the surrounding neighborhood, downtown and the West Side Market.

Plans already are in the works for a roof deck, but nothing has been finalized yet. Phoenix will open in August, the offices in September and the apartments in October. Pre-leasing for the apartments will begin soon, though prices have yet to be announced.

gigi's on fairmount springs forward with glitzy new patio

Gigi’s, a small wine bar tucked into the quaint shopping strip at Fairmount and Taylor in Cleveland Heights, allows guests to experience the romance of French dining. Now, the restaurant is taking the experience to the next level thanks to a patio addition.

The outdoor space, located directly in front of the café, will include a fenced-in patio with seating for 22 people, umbrellas and flowers adorning every corner, and old-fashioned string lights that complete the ambiance.

Gigi’s opened its doors last November and has enjoyed great success as Gia Ilijasic and her husband James Patsch, the entrepreneurs behind the restaurant, knew they would. The restaurant opened as “a passion for both of us [that] turned into a business," says Patsch. That's evident the moment you walk through the door and see the attention to detail, delightful atmosphere, and passion for dining and entertaining that the owners possess.
That passion now flows outdoors onto the front the patio. The tiny interior and general lack of patio seating in town led the couple to start work on the project. As soon as weather becomes consistently warm, the owners intend to host live entertainment outdoors and possibly include a Jeni’s ice cream cart.

To play off the new patio, the owners hope to launch Friday Frolic, a community development program that involves keeping the shops of this tight-knit strip open later one Friday per month to increase foot traffic.
The energetic couple also is devoted to helping the community. Gia and Jim have created a program to raise money for nonprofit causes dubbed Magnificent Mondays. Each Monday in a given month, the cafe will donate 10 percent of its gross income to a selected charity. “Instead of just giving out small amounts to local charities, why don’t we pick a month and let our presence create an impact on the community in a much larger way," Patsch explains.
The warm welcomes start early at this neighborhood gem, like the pink lettering on the front door that reads, "Hello Gorgeous."
“Gia and I want everyone to feel like a superstar and to be received with love as soon as they walk in," Patsch beams with pride.


organic, locally sourced grocery store to open this summer in ohio city

Rachel Kingsbury, a young, first-time entrepreneur who previously worked as a restaurant manager at Town Hall and Liquid Planet, has signed a lease to open The Grocery in a long-vacant building at 3815 Lorain Avenue. The 1,000-square-foot neighborhood market will offer everything from produce to meat to dairy, much of it sourced from local farmers.

"In addition to having thriving entertainment districts, other cities have essentials like grocery stores, bread shops and butchers," she says. "That's what spawned my desire to open a grocery store in Ohio City. This is something I felt was necessary for the development of Cleveland and the development of the neighborhood. I decided to focus more on organic-style products because people are becoming more conscious eaters. They're very aware of where their food comes from."

The owners are restoring the exterior through the City of Cleveland's Storefront Renovation Program. They will bring back the original transom windows, adding more natural light to the store, which has 12-foot ceilings on the main floor.

Kingsbury says she was attracted to the location because of other new businesses in the area, such as Jackflaps, which often has a line out the door during weekend brunch, she says, Platform Beer Company and Buck Buck Studio and Gallery.

She says that she wants her store to serve the entire community, and she's looking into accepting EBT and WIC. "This is the kind of place you go to shop every couple days and bump into your neighbor there. We want to be an integral part of building a very strong community."

In addition to local produce and pasture-raised meats, The Grocery will feature value-added products created by area food entrepreneurs. Kingsbury is partnering with the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a microlender with offices in the Midtown neighborhood, and Cleveland Culinary Launch to stock her shelves with products they're helping bring to market.

The Grocery will be open seven days a week: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Kingston is keeping the buildout simple, and has applied for permits and licenses through the City of Cleveland. She also is pursuing an equipment loan from ECDI. She plans to open in July.

Source: Rachel Kingsbury
Writer: Lee Chilcote

encouraging bike-friendly workplaces key to attracting more bike commuters

Austin McGuan, an attorney with Squire Sanders, first learned about the City of Cleveland's bike parking ordinance a few years ago. A regular bike commuter, McGuan began inquiring about his own landlord's bike parking facility and learned that it was not in compliance. So he worked with his firm, the landlord and the building management to reach a good solution.

Today, thanks to the efforts of McGuan and other members of the Squire Sanders bike committee, the firm has safe, covered bike parking at the front of the garage, offers employees memberships in the Bike Rack downtown, and sponsors regular bike commuting and recreational events. The firm recently received a silver-level bicycle friendly business designation -- the only company or organization in Northeast Ohio to receive this coveted award, and the fourth in Ohio.

"Before, we had a rim-bender bike rack that was tucked into a dark corner, always in a puddle," says McGuane. "If you want to encourage people to ride a bike to work, you have to provide them with a good and safe place to park their bike. That’s what we’ve done working with building management here."

McGuane says one of the most important aspects of fostering bike commuting is encouraging bike-friendly workplaces. "We wanted to knock down potential barriers that would prevent someone from biking to work," he says of his colleagues at Squire Sanders. "One of them, obviously, is having someplace to shower, clean up and change. We explored providing that within our own building, but instead we decided to do the next best thing, which was to sponsor the Bike Rack."

Jacob Van Sickle of Bike Cleveland says the number of bike commuters has been steadily rising in Cleveland and especially downtown in recent years. It's critical to offer a bike-friendly work environment in order to attract more commuters, he says. Although more is needed, the Bike Rack's growing membership, increasing number of parking lot owners in compliance with the city's ordinance, and newly installed bike racks downtown all are part of the amenity mix falling into place.


tremont developer goes vertical with new starkweather place townhomes

Talk about hot in Cleveland: The housing market in Tremont is so tight right now that buyers and real estate agents often can be heard complaining there's nothing for sale. Some of that pressure should be alleviated with the rise of new units at Starkweather Place, a 31-unit development that began in 2006, slowed down quite a bit in the recession, and recently revved back up again.

Keith Sutton of Sutton Builders, one of Tremont's original developers, who 25 years ago began building homes here, recently broke ground on six new units. With five already sold, the project is entering the home stretch. He's gearing up for a groundbreaking on the last six units and expects the project to wrap up next year.

"We got hit hard in the recession, but 2013 was a great year for us, especially considering the last five," he says. "This year, there's definitely been an uptick."

The 1,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath townhomes start at $250,000 and go up from there. Amenities include contemporary design, granite countertops and a deck overlooking the neighborhood. The units are green-built and include a 15-year, 100-percent tax abatement.

"There seems to be kind of a pent-up demand now, so we've even been able to raise our prices a little bit," Sutton says. "With the cost of building going up, we had to."

Why such demand? "I'm told we have a rare commodity. There's just not a whole lot of stuff available in the neighborhood, and we're well suited for that niche."

Sutton also is a partner in Portside Distilling, which just sold out of its first run of canned craft beer. He runs his development company out of a renovated building at East 23rd and Hamilton. He calls it a "business incubator" that has so far lured a flooring company and a plastering company to move into the city from the 'burbs.

Sutton contributes his recent success to the neighborhood's ever-improving dynamics.
"It's never been better," he says of Tremont. "Part of why commercial businesses are thriving here is because of the residential component. But people are coming from everywhere. This is truly a destination place."

upcycling parts shop will open storefront this june in st. clair superior

Creative reuse artist Nicole McGee says she feels just like the crocuses and daffodils; it's spring and she's ready to pop her head out of the ground. A project she's been working on for over a year has entered a critical stage -- the new Upcycle Parts Shop is set to open in a vacant St. Clair Superior storefront in June. The shop, which is part of the larger Upcycle St. Clair project, will offer trash-to-treasure art supplies for crafters, parents, teachers and anybody else who wants to get his or her craft on.

"We'll provide a supplement to the common arts supply store," says McGee. "You don't have to buy new to buy something that’s useful. Economically, it's a good idea because our prices are affordable. But we also want to inspire people."

McGee has become well known over the years for her upcycling pop-up shops, but this one is different, because it offers supplies and is intended to be permanent.

The 900-square-foot storefront at 6419 St. Clair Avenue is owned by the Slovenian National Home, a neighborhood anchor for the past century. The current plan is to offer art supplies for sale at the front of the store, build a "craft bar" where adults and kids can make stuff in the rear, and use the basement to sort materials.

Items such as wallpaper castoffs and beautiful pieces of knotted wood from A Piece of Cleveland will be available for purchase. "You can pick up materials that are sort of unique and purposefully chosen," says McGee. "It will be a curated, interesting experience that will inspire people to work with new materials."

McGee and her team plan to offer at least two workshops per month for adults, plus regular classes for families and kids. One example might be a workshop that teaches people how to transform plastic bottles into artistic flowers. The group is also reaching out to local residents and youth to involve them in the storefront.

"The benefit to companies that have a waste stream is that they can donate stuff to us and have a feel-good alternative to throwing it away," says McGee. "We want to make it easy for them. They also can get a tax-exempt donation letter from us."

McGee is beyond excited about the signage, which was donated by Johnsonite Flooring and created using a laser cutter by an avid supporter. The neon art installation by Dana Depew, which spells out "Thrive" in the window, will remain after the shop opens. McGee expects the Upcyle Parts Shop to open in June.

Upcycle St. Clair also is ready to announce an Upcycle Fellows program. Leaders of the initiative will accept applications from interested individuals who want to be a part of the project's community engagement strategy in the coming months.

Other members of the Upcycle St. Clair team include Devon Fegen-Herdman and Peter Meehan. The group received a $375,000 grant from ArtPlace America, and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation is the coordinating agency.

Source: Nicole McGee
Writer: Lee Chilcote

developers ink deal for ultra-high-speed internet for residents, businesses at fairmount creamery

Sustainable Community Associates and Everstream have announced that ultra-high-speed, fiber-based broadband network services will soon come to the Fairmount Creamery building, a 100,000-square-foot property that is under redevelopment in Tremont.

The high-speed Internet services will be available to both residential and commercial tenants. Everstream is a project of OneCommunity, which has spent more than a decade building the most advanced fiber-optic network in Northeast Ohio. Everstream was created to bring high-speed Internet to private businesses.

"We are really excited to be working with Everstream to bring the fastest residential Internet service to the Creamery," said Josh Rosen, one of the three partners in Sustainable Community Associates, in a release. "The Everstream network will be a significant asset for both our residents and businesses."

The Internet service will be 10 to 20 times faster than traditional networks. Rosen hopes the project will help create a "fiberhood" in Tremont that proves attractive to businesses, especially tech-based enterprises and startups. LaunchHouse is planning to open a new office here when the building opens in late 2014.

“The Creamery project is a perfect example of how developers and managers of mixed-use properties gain a competitive advantage by providing best-in-class service,” said Brett Lindsey, President of Everstream.

Source: Josh Rosen
Writer: Lee Chilcote

community group rolls out clean and green trailer to help with neighborhood beautification projects

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and CharterOne Foundation have announced the creation of a Clean&Green Cleveland program, which offers a fully stocked trailer to assist neighborhood residents with beautification projects. The trailer comes equipped with all the tools and equipment necessary to clean up vacant lots, maintain community gardens, tackle neighborhood improvement projects, and more.

The nonprofit introduced the trailer as part of its ongoing efforts to beautify and reimagine vacant properties in Cleveland. The trailer is available on a "first come, first reserved" basis, according to the website. Applications, use forms, waivers and other information all can be found online, and groups are encouraged to apply. The trailer is for use in the City of Cleveland only.
In a release, CNP stated that the Clean&Green program will offer opportunities not only for beautification, but also for community building among neighbors.

Source: Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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