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bizarro land: cleveland's weird, wacky and wholly unexpected delights

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
Now that we've emerged from our respective huts, it's time to stop squinting towards the sky and go do something. Sure, the usual line-up of outdoor activities awaits -- but aren't there any surprises left in CLE? You bet there are, and we're about to point you in the right direction.

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

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
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

inside out: global cle's talent attraction campaign aimed at filling jobs, repopulating city core

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
On Thursday, May 1, Global Cleveland will officially launch its talent attraction campaign at a major event at the Cleveland Convention Center. The event -- like the organization hosting it -- is focused on increasing the population while strengthening the local economy.

'queen of pork' spreads love of artisan cured meats one sausage at a time

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
Melissa Khoury loves pork so much that she's earned the title “Queen of Pork.” Growing up watching local butchers cut her steaks, then gaining even more exposure to butcheries while living in Atlanta, Khoury discovered her passion early on.   When Khoury moved back to Cleveland in 2009, she worked as a chef in a number of well known restaurants with no intention of staying in town. But then, everything began falling into place and Saucisson was born in 2013.   Saucisson sells hand-cured meats and specialty sausages, all sourced from local farmers and butchers. Currently, Khoury works out of the Cleveland Culinary Launch and sells her products at local farmers markets and the Cleveland Flea.   From chorizo to smoked Tasso ham, Khoury has found her calling. “I love everything about it,” she says. “It’s like my Zen. It’s me and my animal and it’s relaxing to me.”   Khoury’s love of pork was no secret to area chefs, but she was less known to retail consumers. “When I started the company, chefs in the city knew who I was and knew about my pork obsession, but the general consumer didn’t know unless they were patrons of one of the restaurants I worked at,” she says.   Khoury is a big supporter of other local businesses like Fresh Fork Market, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and New Creations Farm in Geauga County. They often work together to share their creations. For example, Khoury buys her meat from New Creations, sells her sausage through Fresh Fork and uses Thirsty Dog lager in some of her sausages.   Now that customers have had a chance to get to know Khoury and the products she sells through Saucisson, her next goal is to open a female-owned butcher shop. In doing so, she wants not only to sell her products, but also inform the general public about fresh and cured meats and sustainable butchery.   "I educate the general consumer, whether it’s a sausage sandwich or spaghetti sauce,” she explains. “It’s cool to see people get adventurous with my products. But I don’t want to make anything that will scare anyone away. I’m making sausage approachable.”   To help achieve those goals, Khoury recently brought on Penny Barend as a business partner.   Source: Melissa Khoury Writer: Karin Connelly

cleveland clinic exports marquee brand to abu dhabi

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
In a Reuters article titled, "Cleveland Clinic exports marquee Ohio brand to Abu Dhabi," by Robin Respaut writes about the Clinic's plans to open a hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.   "For decades the Cleveland Clinic has provided healthcare to the upper echelons of Middle Eastern society who fly halfway across the world for treatment at the Ohio-based private medical center," she writes. "Soon, they can skip the trip."   Early next year, the Cleveland Clinic will open an ultra-modern, 364-bed hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. The Clinic currently helps manage the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City facility in Abu Dhabi, but this will be the first time it puts its name and personnel in the region.   "We look at it as our petrodollars coming home to Cleveland," Cleveland Clinic's chief executive officer Dr Toby Cosgrove said during an interview. "It's money coming back to us."   Read more about the state-of-the-art facility here.

170 businesses, 5k attendees expected at this year's entrovation event

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
Back by popular demand, the second annual Entrovation will be held on Friday, May 2, at the Beachwood Community Center. The event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to showcase their companies and learn from each other. Organized by Beachwood High School marketing teacher and Junior Achievement advisor Greg Perry, the event is touted as the largest Northeast Ohio business fair that connects businesses and entrepreneurs. “We will have everything from salsa to solar panels,” says Perry. The event is the culmination of a year-long Beachwood Junior Achievement Company Program taken by 24 students from Beachwood, Mayfield and Brush high schools.   The students work on Entrovation all year, planning every detail and learning about entrepreneurship. “The class operates like a company,” explains Perry. “My students' company is an entrepreneurial event planning company.”   More than 170 businesses, from small startups to large local players like CWRU, Parker Hannifin and Sherwin Williams, will exhibit. “These companies encourage their employees to think like entrepreneurs, even though they work for very big companies and universities,” says Perry. “And it’s a really great way for young entrepreneurs to establish local contacts.”   The Burton D. Morgan Foundation will sponsor the Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in which five companies will be chosen by attendees at Entrovation. The top five entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their companies on May 28 for a chance to win $3,000, $1,500 and $500 prizes.   Entrepreneurial companies will have their goods for sale, Collection Auto Group will have cars on display and six food trucks will be on hand. Perry is expecting about 5,000 people to attend this year’s event, which is free and runs from noon to 6 p.m.   Source: Greg Perry Writer: Karin Connelly

excerpt from 'best hikes near cleveland,' penned by fresh water contributor joe baur

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
In the recently released Best Hikes Near Cleveland, Fresh Water contributor Joe Baur offers readers a deep dive into some of the best local hikes Mother Nature has to offer. Seven of those hikes are urban, taking readers through Downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, Forest Hill and elsewhere. Here's an excerpt -- and an introduction by the author.

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

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
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

crop bistro included in listing of cool restaurants in converted spaces

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
In a Thrillist feature titled, "Drinking in Banks and Jails: 21 Restaurants/Bars Converted from Very Different Buildings, Crop Bistro in Ohio City earns a spot.   "We've all been in a Thai restaurant that was obviously once a Pizza Hut, but even the ghost of a stuffed-crust pizza haunting your pad Thai has nothing on a cool, old building that's been converted to a place where you can stuff your face or give your liver a workout," writes Andy Kryza. "From an old elementary school to a jail and an airplane, these 21 joints keep their historical roots while also keeping you fat and happy."   Crop Bar and Bistro Cleveland, OH   What it was: A gigantic 1925 bank, complete with marble columns, huge arches, and 17,000 feet of floor space.   What it is now: "One of Ohio's most-lauded restaurants, Crop has kept the integrity of the space intact -- from the remastered columns to the gigantic murals over the bar -- while cooking up high-end cuisine in an open kitchen set up right in the middle of the packed floor. In the basement, meanwhile, you can rent out the vault space, which is great for parties or, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, survival."   Read the rest of the listacle here.

who went where? a look at recently filled positions

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:00am
Several Cleveland area companies have some new faces on their staffs. Here’s a rundown of who is in new positions.   Bryan Stubbs is the Cleveland Water Alliance’s new executive director. The Cleveland Water Alliance is a collaborative group of companies, academic institutions and public agencies working to create a thriving economy around the global needs of water quality and access. Stubbs’ background is in sustainability and non-profit management, most recently as a consultant with The Oberlin Project.   “The Cleveland Water Alliance is about elevating the conversation of water in a way that encompasses the opportunity that our water asset affords both our community and our economy,” explains Stubbs. "It’s about our future as the Water Belt.”   Stubbs plans to bring his successes with the Oberlin Project to the Cleveland Water Alliance. "At the Oberlin Project I was tasked with implementing a plan to radically lower greenhouse gas emissions while growing the local economy and jobs, the parts of which are not mutually exclusive,” he says. “I plan on bringing that core concept to the Alliance by working collaboratively with our leading corporations, academic institutions and public agencies. Project and Construction Services (PCS) named Kevin Lawlor president of the employee-owned professional construction services and general contracting company. Lawlor succeeds 13-year PCS president Robert S. Strickland, who recently retired. Lawlor has more than 38 years of design and construction phase experience and has been with PCS for 22 years, the last 11 years as executive vice president.   Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Inc., a private nonprofit community development funding intermediary focused on investing in the revitalization of city neighborhoods, is growing. The organization has added four key staff members since January. Alesha Washington joined CNP as senior director of advocacy, policy and research, and Mordecai Cargill was hired as manager of fund development in January. In mid-march Zoë Taft Mueller joined CNP as placemaking fellow and Daniel Brown was hired as economic opportunity fellow. Later this month, Donald A. Pattison will come to CNP as community lending specialist, Village Capital Corporation.   Have a new hire you'd like to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll help spread the good news!  

university circle announces plans for $130m high-rise apartment tower

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:00am
University Circle Inc. has announced plans to construct a $130 million, 20-plus story apartment highrise on the current site of the Children's Museum, as well as surrounding land owned by UCI. The nonprofit has selected Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties and Sam Petros of Petros Homes to lead the development team. The announcement is the fruit of years of discussion about a luxury residential tower in University Circle. UCI has long set its sights on building such a tower, seeing unmet demand for housing in an area experiencing strong job growth, near 100-percent rental occupancy and growth in commercial amenities. The project will include about 280 units ranging in size from 720 to 4,200 square feet. The structure will have floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the downtown skyline and Lake Erie. Initial plans call for a building that is 25 to 28 stories tall. The property also will be green-built and offer easy access to public transportation.   "There is substantial demand for this type of housing in University Circle," explained Chris Ronayne, President of UCI, in a release. "One University Circle will provide a quality urban design solution that meets a market demand, brings greater density to University Circle and supports neighborhood businesses with new residents. We believe this project will continue the momentum of University Circle and the renaissance underway in Cleveland... One University Circle will be a welcoming gateway to the institutions of University Circle and a home for their employees coming from all over the world.” In keeping with a luxury urban apartment building, One University Circle will offer concierge services, a fitness center and an indoor pool. The project also will include a green rooftop and other shared amenities. Ronayne says work could begin in 2015, with the first residents moving in two years later. The Children's Museum currently is seeking a new location in Cleveland that will accommodate its plans for expansion. The developers have announced that they intend to work with the City of Cleveland to craft a community benefits agreement for the project. The agreement will stipulate goals for hiring local and minority tradespeople and working with area high schools to provide internships. Source: Chris Ronayne Writer: Lee Chilcote

lab chat: conversations with the smartest people in the cleveland biomed community

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
We live in one of the most important cities for biomedical research in the country, and yet it often feels as though the general public has no clue about what's going on behind the doors of research labs at the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University. This new column is an attempt to change that.

follow you, follow me: the social media mavens we can't get enough of

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
In Cleveland’s ever-evolving social media community, there is a wide variety of contributors to the civic dialogue. We've complied a list of some of our favorite voices -- a mix of up-and-comers and seasoned vets from different corners of the web who are using their blogs, podcasts and Twitter feeds to give the city a voice.

the urban dwelling: for those building nests in the city, creativity is the theme

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
Creativity is a unifying theme for many who elect to make their home in the city. From an airy Tremont loft with city views to what just might be the greenest home in Cleveland, Fresh Water takes a look at some of the coolest dwellings to pop up in urban 'hoods.

popular startup weekend returns to cleveland after last year's successful showing

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
More than 100 business-minded entrepreneurs are expected to attend this weekend’s Cleveland Startup Weekend in Tyler Village (3615 Superior Ave.) to present their business ideas, mingle and team up to create business plans. Startup Weekend, an international event, returned to Cleveland last year for the first time in five years to a warm reception. So organizers Ryan Marimon and Bryan Adams decided to do it again this year.   The weekend, which runs from Friday night, April 11, through Sunday, April 13, is about education, mentoring and hands-on skill development. “Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking,” says Marimon. “Don’t just listen to theory; build your own strategy and test it as you go.”   Participants will gather on Friday to pitch their ideas. Teams are then formed around the best ideas, via vote, and the teams spend the rest of the weekend working on a business model. The weekend culminates with pitch sessions and a winner is selected by a panel of judges.   Last year, eight teams pitched on Sunday night. Marimon says he expects as many as 16 teams to pitch at the end of the weekend this year.   Marimon says there’s nothing to lose in exploring ideas. “The risk of failure for the weekend is really low, so there is no reason not to get out and try things,” he says. “At the end of the day, we are all about fostering lasting relationships and fostering a community of doers right here in Cleveland.”   Registration for the event is $99 and is open up until the weekend’s start. As a special for Fresh Water readers, use the code FRESH to register for only $59.   Source: Ryan Marimon Writer: Karin Connelly

three-company partnership develops ecologically effective way to dispose of shale catalyst

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
As the processing of shale oil increases, oil refineries are looking for an ecologically effective way to dispose of catalyst. Three local companies -- Metaloy, Redimet and Evergreen Environmental -- have teamed up to create METPro Recovery, working with Skye Metal in Marietta. “It’s a joint venture relationship to deal with the increased amount of catalyst coming from oil refineries and shale oil mining,” explains Claude Kennard, Metaloy president. “Four refineries in Ohio will be processing these new crudes.”   METPro Recovery identifies companies producing catalysts containing heavy metals such as molybdenum, nickel, iron, titanium and cobalt. METPro then delivers these catalysts to Skye Metal’s Marietta facility to produce super alloys and usable raw materials.   METPro is able to accept hazardous and non-hazardous “K Waste” materials through a variance granted by the state. The company’s process focuses on sustainability and being environmentally safe. “It goes from the refinery to METPro and the customer without creating additional waste,” explains Kennard. “The gasses that come off in the process go through a scrubber. There’s nothing bad coming out of our plants.”   The added benefit to METPro’s process is that there is demand for a product. “The sweet spot of our application is the steel mills will always need the materials we have,” says Kennard. In fact, the recycled materials are cheaper than sourcing naturally occurring materials. The company is reaching out to all of the major industry players.   Kennard says the partnership will create jobs within all four of the partnering companies. Metaloy will hire three to five people in the next year, while Redimet plans to hire two people and Evergreen plans to hire four.   METPro plans to start with processing 500 tons of catalyst a month and eventually ramp up to its 4,000-ton capacity, with a potential to generate $10 million in sales.   Source: Claude Kennard Writer: Karin Connelly  

keep it local project all about promoting, growing small businesses in cle

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
As a small business owner, Carl Baldesare knows the headaches associated with growing a company. With a background as a small business advisor and, more recently, owner of Specialty Renovations construction company, Baldesare grew frustrated with the expense and limited resources available in growing his small company. Then about nine months ago, Baldesare had an idea for growing all the small businesses in Cleveland: Keep it Local Cleveland Project. “I just started wondering, why don’t people help these small businesses out,” he recalls. “I realized number one is they didn’t know the business existed, or they were afraid to try it.”   The Keep it Local Cleveland Project is a membership based group dedicated to promoting and growing small businesses of all kinds in Cleveland. Businesses can run promotions and specials through the website. “I created an all-encompassing Cleveland chamber,” Baldesare boasts. “We connect local people to local businesses. We do this by telling you where to find them, and give you a little incentive to find them.”   Member businesses get access to monthly networking events, a mention on social media and radio, and promotion on Keep it Local’s website marketplace. “It’s a pretty slick setup,” says Baldesare. Consumers can access deals and promotions, or simply research local businesses. “When you buy from independent local businesses, more of your money goes to other independent local businesses.”   The project already has generated a loyal following, with more than 3,000 followers on Facebook. The organization now has five employees.   Keep it Local Cleveland officially kicks off on Sunday with a free concert at the Beachland Ballroom featuring local bands, of course. A ticket is required to get into the concert.   Source: Carl Baldesare Writer: Karin Connelly

university circle launches nextstep program to help existing businesses thrive and grow

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:00am
Resources and tools exist to help startups, tech companies and larger businesses grow. But what about existing small businesses ranging from mom-and-pop grocery shops to service-based businesses like law firms? University Circle Inc. has launched NextStep, a seven-month program that leaves business participants with a three-year growth plan, to address the dearth of such resources. The nonprofit also wants to see existing businesses in University Circle grow and thrive, particularly in light of recent residential and institutional growth. "We want to help stabilize and grow businesses that have been here for a long time, as well as encourage new ones," says Laura Kleinman, Vice President for Shared Services with UCI. "We want to help them leverage that growth." NextStep is the local version of Streetwise MBA, a successful program created by Interise in Boston and now exported to other locations. The 13-week curriculum covers leadership, financial management, marketing, sales, human resources and access to capital. The program also focuses on working with anchor institutions. "You take a deep dive into running a business, using your own business as a case study," says Kleinman. "There's a lot of peer learning and resources to help them get there. We like to say the program teaches the know-how and the know-who." Two of the businesses participating in the program are Murray Hill Market and Constantino's, both of which offer services that weren't available just a few years prior and represent the new face of business growth in Greater University Circle. They also do business with major Circle institutions, including event catering. The program is funded in part by the Cleveland Foundation and Key Bank. As University Circle grows, UCI and other organizations are focusing on helping surrounding neighborhoods, including existing businesses there, share in the overall prosperity. UCI also has a goal of creating a "complete neighborhood" that includes thriving services as well as residences and businesses. Participants must meet certain thresholds, including having at least one full-time employee besides the owner and bringing in a baseline of $250,000 per year in annual revenue. The discounted cost of the program is $1,200. Kleinman says the proof of the program's impact is what it's done for businesses in other cities. "It has an impressive track record of helping create double-digit growth," she says, noting that there are a still a few spots available for the inaugural class. Source: Laura Kleinman Writer: Lee Chilcote

music settlement's big plans for bop stop include summer bash, ensemble lessons, concerts...

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:00am
The Music Settlement took possession of the Bop Stop jazz club in early January, but the institution wasted little time in setting up meetings with community stakeholders to plan use of the facility. Having recently hired music veteran Matt Cahill as Event Sales Manager, the organization is moving ahead with programming. The Settlement will host a preview party this week, and then open the space to the community this summer with a public party. That party, which will feature concerts spilling into Dogbone Park, the narrow slice of green space between Detroit Avenue and the Shoreway, should be a fitting beginning to the Settlement's highly anticipated Ohio City debut. The group will soon begin offering event rentals, with ensemble music instruction, regular concerts and a state-of-the-art recording facility to follow later this year. The Settlement will retain the Bop Stop name and leave the beautifully designed space largely as is. Publicly accessible concerts will begin as soon as this fall. That's just the beginning, says Charlie Lawrence, President of the Settlement. The group is looking for a space to hold individual music lessons, and a music-themed preschool also is in the works, similar to the popular University Circle program. In the meantime, the Settlement will partner with local schools and nonprofits to offer music therapy and other programs. All offerings will be accessible to low-income families, as well, in keeping with the institution's mission. "As much as we can, we want to offer programs for young families," says Lawrence. "We're excited by the demographics that show young families are a big part of the area." "We don't want to go into Ohio City with just a toe in the water," adds Lynn Johnson, Marketing Director for the Settlement. "We want to create a comprehensive program." Other programs will pop up in collaboration with the Transformer Station and area businesses and nonprofits. Hingetown is quickly emerging as the west side cultural district, and businesses could stand to benefit as parents need places to grab coffee or view art while their kids are nearby taking lessons. "There's a chance to build a cooperative cultural experience in northern Ohio City," says Lawrence. "That's the whole picture. And everything is within walking distance." Source: Charlie Lawrence, Lynn Johnson Writer: Lee Chilcote

perspectus architecture completes merger, doubles office footprint at shaker square

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:00am
Perspectus Architecture recently completed a merger with HFP/Ambuske Architects, bringing five jobs from Beachwood to Cleveland. Perspectus will remain in its second floor offices on the southeast quadrant of Shaker Square, where it has doubled its office space and is in the process of remodeling. "Our focus is firmly based in healthcare," says Perspectus principal Larry Fischer of both companies. "We saw a lot of advantages in getting together." Staying and growing at Shaker Square seemed like a no-brainer, he adds. "When we were looking for space, we wanted a venue or neighborhood that had a certain cool factor to it," says Fischer, who has expanded from a single 900-square-foot office to 10,000 square feet on the entire second floor of his building in the past 14 years. "We probably couldn’t afford being downtown in the primary core. There's a lot happening at Shaker Square." The new offices are just as cool. There are now a total of 36 staffers in the redesigned space. "Being a contemporary firm, we wanted the space to really represent the work we're doing," says Fischer. "We kept a lot of the mahogany moldings and doors, then contrasted them with clean, light walls and contemporary light fixtures. At two ends, we actually exposed the old wood structure. There’s a contradiction of styles that works pretty well for us." One big change is that Perspectus' new offices now reflect the movement towards open, connected spaces. "That was a big deal to us," Fischer says. "We didn’t want to be in an old, stodgy environment. We also reorganized the studio -- all or our architects worked in teams, but they weren’t sitting in teams. Now they're more organized and have more space. We really wanted to create a space that supported how we work, and that encouraged mentoring, interaction and collaboration." That open environment goes for the bosses, too. "There are some people that wish I had my own office," Fischer adds wryly. "But I'm out in the open, too." Fischer praised the Coral Company for its willingness to work closely with the firm to customize the layout. Perspectus employees continue to enjoy "problem-solving walks" around the Square, taking inspiration from the architecture. Prospectus is headquartered in Cleveland, but also has offices in Columbus and Charleston, West Virginia. Source: Larry Fischer Writer: Lee Chilcote