Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago
In 2009, things were looking bright for the Footbridge Townhomes, 2868-2882 West 11th Street. Construction was well under way and one of the four units was pre-sold. "When we started the project, it was kind of a precarious time in real estate," says Progressive Urban Real Estate president David Sharkey. "We needed that presale to get the project moving." The precarious state of things turned into what Sharkey calls the "real estate depression" and the presale went south. "The whole thing fell apart," recalls Sharkey. "That is what really stalled the project out." To make matters worse, all the naysayers had something to gloat over. "A lot of people thought (the project) was a mistake," says Sharkey. "They didn't think it would succeed. For a while it kind of seemed that way." While he admits being an advocate of the area was a challenge, Sharkey is quick to offer a view of it through more forgiving eyes, pointing out the lush greenery, stunning views of the neighboring industrial valley and access to area parks and entertainment via the arching footbridge that spans Interstate 490 (which will soon be open to the new West 12th Street Neighborhood Pathway). The unique pocket is at once secluded and urban. With all that going for the project, he didn't give up. Working with Tremont West Development Corporation and the city of Cleveland, the team was able to secure federal funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Approved earlier this year, the funds covered the remainder of construction financing and a 20 percent forgivable second mortgage for buyers. All four units have sold. They range from 1,238 to 1,373 square feet and sold for between $140,000 and $168,000. Construction is finishing up, but Sharkey feels confident the homes should all be occupied within four or five weeks. Civic Builders (affiliated with Progressive Urban Real Estate) owns more than 16 other lots in the area, with most of them along West 11th and a couple on West 12th. Plans for those are not yet in place. "We're trying to figure out our options," says Sharkey, noting that additional townhomes or a custom home project are possibilities. In any event, he sees the Footbridge project as a harbinger of good things to come for this underappreciated part of town. "We have been determined to see it through to the end—and we have. It's a big deal," says Sharkey. "It took some creativity. Without the city of Cleveland coming through and working with us on the NSP funding, I'm not sure it would have happened. But in the end it is succeeding and it's going to be a catalyst for great things to come down there."
Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water's "who's hiring?" series. Once a month or so, we feature growing companies with open positions, what they're looking for and how to apply. MakerGear Business is booming at MakerGear, a Beachwood company that designs, engineers and manufactures desktop 3D printers and accessories. The firm has seen its M2 3D printer rank as Amazon’s top-rated for the entire year and just started shipping to China, potentially a huge leap for business. To help address its month-long backlog of orders, the company is currently looking for a mechanical engineer with Cartesian machine design experience. This is a hands-on environment where you will be involved in product design, prototyping and testing. Solid modeling experience is required. “We’re hoping to hire a handful of engineers by the end of the year,” adds company founder Rick Pollack. For more information, click here. To apply, send resumes here. Western Reserve Historical Society Take a ride back in Cleveland history as a carousel operator. Western Reserve Historical Society is looking for a full-time carousel operator to man the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel when it opens in November. Apply online here. University School University School is seeking a part-time relationship manager who will support the public relations requirements of University School’s Entrepreneur Institute and its initiatives. Responsibilities include developing and maintaining corporate and foundation partnerships, and marketing strategy and implementation. Interested candidates can send their resume, cover letter, or application to email the recruiting manager. OnShift, Parker Hannifin and more C.TRAC currently has three open positions. The marketing solutions provider needs an account director, technical solutions architect, and UX Developer. Information on all three positions can be found here. Send resumes here. Junior Achievement needs a fundraising specialist to maintain and grow relationships with existing corporate and individual donors as well as proactively identify and develop new sources of financial support to meet annual fundraising goals, primarily through execution of special event fundraisers. For more information, click here. To apply, send resume and salary requirements here. OnShift, the leader in staff scheduling & labor management software for long-term care and senior living, is looking for a database administrator to Design, install and maintaining complex databases in a server based environment. The job includes all aspects of backup/recovery, security, integrity, performance tuning and data modeling. To apply, go to OnShift’s careers page. Parker Hannifin is looking for people to join its accounting trainee program. The program’s purpose is to hire, develop and retain accounting professionals. Through a systematic process of division training and mentoring, trainees are introduced to the Parker accounting ranks and quickly begin to play a significant role in day to day operations of the business. For more information and to apply, click here. Sherwin-Williams needs a recruitment specialist. For more information and to apply, click here. American Greetings is looking for a graphic/card designer in its creative division: "Standing in front of a greeting card display - looking up and down the rows of cards and taking in all the different colors, sizes, shapes, art techniques, layouts, and lettering styles - you're looking at the work of a Designer. That's not to say that the Designer singlehandedly does all the work behind each of those individual attributes, but he or she does pull it all together' into a cohesive card expression that resonates with our consumer. A Designer thinks 'big picture' while using a small canvas - actually, hundreds of them, displayed together." For more information, click here. PR Newswire needs a Manager of Inside Sales. For more information and to apply, click here. Case Western Reserve University has an opening for a wellness coordinator to support the medical director in developing a culture of wellness within the university. For more information and to apply, click here. Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!
Talk about waterfront property: one of Cleveland's coolest offices -- and perhaps the only one that not only has views of Lake Erie, but actually floats on the water -- is moving to a whole new level. With $1.5 million in renovations all but complete, software studio LeanDog and Arras Keathley Advertising (AKA) are ready to debut renovations to the Kearsage, which was built in 1892 and has served as a transit ship, barge and restaurant. The North Coast Harbor fixture has a new wind in her proverbial sales. Gone are the vinyl-clad booths and dank coolers from the ship's days as Hornblowers Barge and Grill. The new and revamped office areas are swank on the inside and lined with new windows—a lot of new windows—that offer stunning views of the lake and downtown. "One of the challenges of renovating a boat is that it has such great views," says Jon Stahl, President of leandog. "Every time we cut a hole it was like … cut another one … cut another one ... We kept adding windows. The good news is: we ended up with a lot of windows. The bad news is: we spent a lot more money than we anticipated." The team, spearheaded by Stahl and AKA president Jim Hickey, had originally budgeted $1.2 million. The two-phase renovation started in 2010 and hit a nine-month snafu courtesy of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now the race is on to get everything shipshape for the Oct. 23 christening and gala, but the finish line is in plain sight. Improvements include an airy kitchen space in the center of the boat, a new 1,700-square-foot rooftop deck outfitted with open-air fireplaces and a 60-inch weatherproof television, and a dock where you'll find LeanDog's 27-foot fishing boat, AKA's 27-foot pleasure boat, paddleboards, kayaks and two jet skies. "I love the water," says Stahl from the helm of the zooming fishing boat (no name yet). "Finally having access to water was a big deal for us because we had this underutilized waterfront that we all wanted to be a part of." And now they are, with the fishing boat serving as an impromptu meeting spot; employees opting for a little lunchtime exercise courtesy of the kayaks and paddleboards; and the rooftop deck, with its giant television, as host to any number of gatherings, from business reviews to tailgate parties. "Part of what we teach is innovation, so we wanted to have a really innovative place to work," says Stahl. "Creative people need creative environments." The boat includes 9,219 square feet of office space, 1,700 of which is new. It also has 4,178 square feet of finished decking and a 2,036 square foot dock. The improvements came to fruition with the help of a $180,000 vacant loan grant and $95,000 low interest loan (since repaid), both from the city. No. 225 LLC (formed by Stahl and Hickey in 2012 to purchase the boat) financed the remainder of the funds through Huntington Bank. Combined, LeanDog and AKA employ 50 full-time employees and 27 full-time subcontractors. With a few finishing touches still yet to complete, Stahl can't help but look to the future. He mentions tentative plans for more decking and a concert stage on the roof with the possibility of renting the space for venues and parties. "If you saw it before … ," muses Stahl of the storied Kearsage as he gazes out over the lake from the rooftop deck. "You couldn't get to the water. The windows didn't even open." "We brought it back to life."
With fireworks and smoke machines, and science experiments galore, CWRU officials on Thursday officially broke ground on the new home to thinkbox, a collaboration and innovation center housed in the former Lincoln Storage Building, now known as the Richey-Mixon Building. The CWRU board of trustees voted unanimously last Sunday, October 12 to approve the renovations with the $25 million out of a $30 million goal. Phase I is due to be completed in August 2015. Phase I includes renovations to the first four floors. A glass skyway will connect the athletic center to the thinkbox entrance. The first floor will be a community floor with a bike station. “It will be a younger-feeling creative space that suits our students’ lifestyle,” explains thinkbox manager Ian Charnas. “The second floor will be the ideation floor with amenities such as whiteboards and meeting rooms modeled after Stanford d. School in California.” Floors three and four are dedicated to some real hands-on innovation. Three will house a prototyping floor and a small metal shop, will offer tools for nearly every metal project conceivable. “We’re sending an email out, saying 'come enjoy several thousand square feel to do your projects and get messy.'” Charnas expects thinkbox to both attract and retain innovative thinkers to Cleveland. “This is helping to build industry in the region,” he says. “Most of our students are recruited from outside of Cleveland, and even Ohio. This is a big golden carrot to keep these folks in the area.” The announcement was made during Case’s homecoming celebration. Case president Barbara Snyder was accompanied by the major donors to make the announcement amid smoke machines and fireworks displays on monitors. Instead of a ribbon-cutting, the group flipped a giant old-fashioned power switch. Students dressed in white lab coats embroidered with thinkbox and blue hard hats made commemorative chocolate coins using liquid nitrogen, with the help of Sweet Designs Chocolatier and Piccadilly Creamery. A laminar flow fountain – the kind where the liquid leaps about – dispensed punch that shot from a white display case into guests’ glasses. Charnas says they hope to raise the remaining funds in the next year and shoot straight into phase II renovations, which will include the remaining top three floors.
Forget your ideas about giant abstract sculptures on museum lawns. In Detroit, public art is an essential part of community life.
After a decade of standing still, the Flats are on the move. Check out some of the newest developments changing this mixed-use neighborhood, from the Lake Link Trail to plans for a new boathouse on the Cuyahoga River.
Low-income workers often lack the basic skills needed to find a good job. To bridge the gap, experts says it's essential to invest in training. Yet despite millions of people out of work, programs are hard to find.
When it comes to the new Zagster bike share system, the excitement is only just beginning. Three more stations are being rolled out before the end of October, a crowdfunding campaign is underway, and organizers say the system could expand further in the spring.
At the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) annual conThrive!, in Cleveland October 1-3, top entrepreneurs came from around the world to talk about best practices, how to grow a company and the potential stumbling blocks in being an entrepreneur. While conference attendees – all EO members – are successful in their own rights, two local business owners highlighted why Cleveland is one of the best places in the world to grow the thriving business. Brendan Anderson, co-founder and managing partner, of Evolution Capital Partners, a small business consulting and investing firm, shared what the top one percent of entrepreneurs are doing differently than everyone else. “The top one percent has figured out a way to find access to capital and free up their time to focus on their goals,” Anderson explains. He cites four main components – current financial statements; a solid plan; transparency; and accountability as critical to success. “Once you got all these things, you can attract the people you never dreamed you could,” Anderson elaborates on these points. “Generate financial statements as often as daily, and the core parts are shared with all interested parties,” Anderson says. “Come up with a plan. Some plans start small and then turn into bigger plans. The plan should list were you are going, what you are doing and why. Outline a transparency, talking about the information you have and sharing it. Finally,, accountability is important. If you are being transparent and everyone knows what they are individually responsible for then you can get the right people in the right seats.l Once you got all these things, you can attract the people you never dreamed you could.” Anderson also emphasizes the amount of support for entrepreneurs in Cleveland. “I think this is a great place to be an entrepreneur because of organizations like the EO,” he says. “We have pockets of entrepreneurs who are willing to share and give. I would never be where I am today without the EO.” While EO members must gross at least $1 million in yearly revenues, Anderson points out the wealth of incubators and accelerators available to smaller companies. The key is the willingness in Cleveland to mentor and share advice among entrepreneurs. “You got to be a continuous leader – keep your head up and keep meeting people,” advices Anderson. “In the entrepreneurial community, most of us remember how painful it was to have the door slammed in your face, having banks say no.” Mike Berlin, founder of Briteskies, an IT tech services company that helps customers bring their products to the online market, also sees Cleveland as having a wealth of resources for the entrepreneur. “There is a great support network here,” he says. “There are a significant number of large companies we can work with here. Organizations like COSE are a good resource. They do a good job of promoting small businesss.” Basically, Anderson and Berlin see Northeast Ohio as full of valuable resrources. “The Northeast Ohio EO gave me the opportunity to so what I’m doing,” says Berlin. “I’m not sure if I could do it anywhere else. There are big companies here who have taken the leap with us, and there’s a willingness of mentors to partner million-dollar companies with small upstart companies.” Almost 500 people from as far away as Australia and China came to the EO Thrive! conference earlier this month to hear Anderson’s and Berlin’s thoughts on entrepreneurship. Other keynote speakers included Jodi Berg of Vitamix and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Next January, Cleveland Public Library (CPL) is scheduled to open the Cleveland Digital Public Library (CDPL) on the third floor of the original portion of the downtown branch. Construction began in July. The space will be home to four pieces of scanning equipment: a versatile and user-friendly Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC) Scanner, a high-resolution unit suitable for photographs, a high-speed book scanner and a large format scanner that, at approximately 35- by 50-inches, will be able to accommodate maps and other oversized items. All of it will be available to the public, although the more sophisticated units will have limited public hours. Another key function of the scanners is to digitize CPL's larger items. "The hope is to find a way to reach behind the locked doors of special collection vaults and library vaults and share these collections more widely through the agency of the Internet," says Chatham Ewing, CPL's digital library strategist. The project was made possible by approximately $1 million in funding from the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Per Ewing, the funds were divided between four libraries in four Ohio cities; Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati; in the interest of making the newly digitized material available to the Ohio Memory project and the emerging Digital Public Library of America. The area, which will occupy nearly one-fourth of the third floor--approximately 2,000 square feet, will be in the space that formerly housed the old multi-media music and CD room. The hallway leading into the new CDPL will feature displays of the physical items that have recently been scanned, those Ewing imagines to essentially be "staff favorites." Other features will include a classroom outfitted with moveable smart boards and a four- by eight-foot touch screen on which scanned collections will be viewable, "in ways that are interesting and fun," says Ewing. Another goal of the CDPL is to connect with the entire northeast Ohio region in a lofty sense. "It's a way for us to strike up some partnerships with local organizations that have historical objects they are interested in stewarding and digitizing," says Ewing, adding that such connections will strengthen Cleveland's cultural heritage community. "We'll be offering digitization services that will enable those partner organizations to take on projects they might not otherwise imagined were possible."
In a report released Sunday by Team NEO, the automotive industry in Northeast Ohio is expected to hold a lot of promise in the upcoming decade. According to the report, the area has the second-largest Tier I auto production markets in the country, meaning the suppliers here make the parts the go directly on the vehicles, second only to Detroit. Team NEO predicts the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in automotive to grow by 79 percent to become a $4.5 billion industry by 2024. Employment is also expected to grow by 19 percent. Jacob Duritsky, managing director of research for Team NEO, attribute the predicted growth to the area’s diverse mix of auto manufacturing. “No one has a crystal ball, but based on our industry mix, the trend is pretty steady,” Duritsky says. Add to the mix the jobs brought back to the Avon Lake Ford plant and the scheduled manufacture of Ford’s medium trucks, the F650 and F750, as well as tremendous investment in Ford’s Brookpark and Lordstown plants and Honda’s presence in the state, automotive has a strong hold in an industry that is expected to decline elsewhere in the country. Automotive is one of only two manufacturing industries in Northeast Ohio to grow in the next 10 years. The other is food manufacturing. “We’re experiencing manufacturing employment, essentially, to remain flat,” says Jenny Febbo, Team NEO vice president of marketing and communications. “Automotive is one of only two expected to grow.
With the addition of four new tenants over the coming weeks, 5th Street Arcades is celebrating a significant milestone. "We're basically fully leased," says Lauren Wiant, marketing and community relations liaison at the 5th Street Arcades for Cumberland Development. She recalls what the space looked like only two years ago. "It was like a mausoleum. It was dead enough that you could hear yourself talk." With a veritable reanimation of this historic Cleveland space, those days are gone. The four new businesses include Sandy Buffie Designs, which will be taking over the former Baseball Heritage Museum space—a whopping 5,467 square feet—to showcase Buffie's contemporary handcrafted jewelry and sculpture. All of her creations are made from found and recycled objects. "In addition to a gallery space, she'll be doing classes," says Wiant. The arcade will also soon welcome the area's third Barrio location, which will front on Prospect in a 4,478-square-foot space. The custom taco eatery will employ 50 and seat 200, excluding the patio. Other locations include 806 Literary Road in Tremont and 15527 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Yet another food attraction will be popping up the other end of the arcade. Kernels by Chrissie will occupy a 752-square-foot storefront facing Euclid. Helmed by entrepreneur Christine Fahey, the shop will offer handcrafted gourmet popcorn. "We found her at the Downtown Farmers Market," notes Wiant. "She was a vendor there looking for a permanent storefront. She's going to do some of her popcorn production in the shop as well." With more than 20 flavors to choose from, heaven help hungry passers-by trying to resist that aroma. Lastly, 10PM Studio will be occupying a 535-square-foot interior space. Proprietor and artist Patty Mcphillips will offer steampunk-themed jewelry crafted from vintage timepieces. "She was an artist featured in one of our other shops, Fra Angelica, who was interested in having a permanent space as well," says Wiant. Wiant credits the frenetic wave to Cumberland owner Richard Pace. "(The 5th Street Arcade) is something he took a risk on because he believed in these entrepreneurs," she says, adding that the Arcade had an occupancy rate of less than 50 percent when Cumberland took over and now boasts 45 businesses. "(Pace) provided them with incentives to get their businesses up and running." The group's next step will be to extend shopping hours in an effort to attract the after-work crowd. "It's a great model for the entire city," says Wiant. "It proves retail can work downtown."
While the harvest at the Edgewater Hill Victory Garden has all but faded, the activity in the surrounding neighborhood is in full bloom. Start with The Shoreway, which boasts 45 luxury lofts and welcomed its first residents in August. "We are currently 100 percent leased," says Dylan McBride, Shoreway property manager and resident. There are approximately 50 on the waiting list. Managed by IRG Realty Advisors, the building features one-and two-bedroom suites, ranging from 950- to 1570-square feet with rents from $975 to $2,200. High speed Internet and access to the fitness center and 5,000-square-foot rooftop patio is included. McBride was mum on plans for the vacant south end of the building, except to say that IRG is courting retail options. That area will be open to the public. The building has another unique feature. "We are a pet friendly building," says McBride, adding that there is no size maximum for pets—with some pachyderms notwithstanding. "Obviously, someone can't have an elephant." In neighboring Battery Park, the much-anticipated Cha Spirits and Pizza opened in the Powerhouse over the weekend and will no doubt be a boon for current and future residents. But there is more to come. New construction sales manager Danielle Szabo of Keller Williams Real Estate reports that the company is on the lookout for another entertainment venue in the historic structure, but would not disclose details. "They're waiting for the right entity," says Szabo, adding that a brewery/restaurant might be a good fit. The development opened in 2006 with 13 acres. It has since expanded to include more than 150 townhomes and condominiums ranging from 1,100 square-feet to nearly 3,000. They've sold for between $199,000 and $550,000. Six new townhomes are under construction, three of which are already closing. "Aside from the brand new construction in Battery Park," says Szabo. "There are no opportunities. It is completely full." There is, however, future hope for those wanting to settle in the complex. Keller Williams will soon release new construction plans for Battery Park. "It's going to be the most premier phase," says Szabo. "It's 100 percent residential opportunity with 110 percent permanent lake views." Both McBride and Szabo tout the West 65th and West 76th Street pedestrian tunnels as major improvement to the area. "It's just been tremendous to be able to have direct access right from Battery Park out to Edgewater Beach and Edgewater Park," says Szabo, adding that the West 73rd Street Extension project completion (scheduled for 2015) will provide even more accessibility. Residents also contribute to the area's success in no small part. "You can feel the pride when they talk to you," says Szabo. "That really impacts the growth and regeneration of the area." Szabo adds that she knows at least two residents who work the Edgewater Hill Victory Garden, but alas, "I haven't gotten a tomato from them." As the evenings continue to chill, her hope is fading fast, but something else that's been growing in the garden over the past months is starting to unfurl. Made possible by grants from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and Neighborhood Connections, a new mural celebrating the neighborhood is nearing completion. The 700-square-foot piece runs along West 73rd Street. It embodies neighborhood pride and offers subtle commentary by way of an image: that of a chrysalis and emerging butterfly.
In what’s being touted the “Holy Grail” of MRI technology, CWRU School of Medicine professor of radiology and director of MRI research Mark Griswold and his team are developing a system of MRI fingerprinting that will offer a faster, more detailed scan that could eliminate the need for a physical biopsy of tumors. This research led Griswold, who is quick to point out he is just one a team of 20 at CWRU and Boston's Mass General, to recently earn the title of Inventor of the Year at NorTech’s annual Innovation Awards. “We did this by throwing everything we knew out the door,” Griswold explains. “We get quantitative numbers on a fast time scale. It’s a little more than a year old and we can tell different types of brain tumors different prostate cancers and we may even have a diagnostic tool for MS and Parkinson’s’.” Griswold says he was able to develop the technology quite quickly thanks to support from Siemens Healthcare. The hope is to get the software and hardware to commercial markets within a year. “I think we have a lot of hard work to do,” says Griswold of the next steps. “But the earlier you can see disease, the earlier you can see things happening in the infrastructure and brain tissue.” Similarly, Explorys, the cloud-based, big data analytics company for the healthcare industry, received an award for the most innovative use of a national trend for its innovative use of big data. “Growing a high-tech company that positively impacts so many lives, right here in Ohio, has been an exciting and rewarding journey,” said Charlie Lougheed, president and co-founder of Explorys. “I’m so proud of the team at Explorys for the dedication they’ve poured into creating innovative ways to leverage big data to improve healthcare.” Other honorees at the event included Sharon Sobol Jordan, President and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children for her work to expanded the reach of the organization, and Imperial Tools, SmartShape and LogiSync were named Most Innovative Technology Team for their work on a revolutionary, smart HVAC tool.
This Saturday, hop on over to the Heights Music Hop to check out a full lineup of bands in the Cedar-Lee District. There will be 30 bands playing at 16 different venues. Did we mention it's free?
In this candid, wide-ranging interview, the leader of the Cleveland Foundation discusses its centennial gifts, the Greater University Circle Initiative, the Transformation Plan and more.
Zev Siegl came to Cleveland last week to speak to early-stage and student entrepreneurs at Bizdom and Blackstone Launchpad. Fresh Water gave him a tour and asked him about a lifetime of working with startups.