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fresh water/burning river photo contest slideshow

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
In collaboration with the Burning River Foundation, Fresh Water sponsored a photo contest in honor of the 45th Anniversary of the last burning of the Cuyahoga River. In anticipation of this weekend's Burning River Fest, we asked to see your best water-themed photos. Here are the top entries.

art meets science at osteosymbionics, maker of custom craniofacial implant products

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
For those who have suffered a traumatic injury to the skull and face -- be it from an accident, cancer or deformity -- OsteoSymbionics leads the way in facial reconstruction. The Cleveland-based manufacturer of custom craniofacial implants serves surgeons at hospitals across the United States. OsteoSymbionics’ products provide both skull rebuilding and is cosmetically attractive.   Founded in 2006by Cynthia Brogan, OsteoSymbionics is known for using a special plastic in its craniofacial implants that doesn’t break and exactly fits the patient's face or skull. “We’re a well-respected player in the marketplace,” says CEO Dorothy Baunach. “The type of plastic we use is a market niche and it’s done really well in its ability to be shaped to the skull opening without crumbling or breaking.”   Today, OsteoSymbionics has a line of products that range from a clear implant that allows surgeons to see brain function during placement, to hard and soft tissue implants. Housed in the Incubator at MAGNET, the company employs six full-time and two part-time employees who have backgrounds that range from medical artists and sculptors to biomedical engineers and materials scientists.   Many of the artists on staff are graduates of Cleveland Institute of Art’s biomedical program. “They’re really our secret weapon,” says Baunach. “The fit and forming is more of an art than a science. Because of the talent of the students at CIA, they can do things that are pretty complex.”   Baunach plans to double sales by the end of the year and add sales reps across the country. “It’s really about growing sales and the company,” she says. “Sales are built on surgeons’ preferences.”  

preview of aha festival, an interactive arts fest to take place during gay games

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
Cleveland's star is burning pretty brightly these days, thanks in no small part to a string of good news regarding a certain political party’s national convention and a certain sports figure’s return. But it's about to get a little brighter. A new downtown festival will bring in nationally renowned artists during the Gay Games to create interactive light/video installations on the downtown malls. The AHA! Festival is "a multi-day festival of lights celebrating Cleveland's recent development boom and will 'illuminate' changes to our urban landscape," according to the website. The event is scheduled to take place August 7-9. Public events will take place to engage Clevelanders and energize the city. This week, Fresh Water caught up with several AHA! artists to preview the fest. Public Auditorium 3D mapping: The artist collective Obscura Digital "will present a giant, digital light show on the outer walls of Public Auditorium using 3D video mapping," according to the website. The San Francisco-based studio uses unique software that allows artists to create animations and send them to one of several video projectors, covering the entire facade of a building. "What we're trying to do is capture the essence of Cleveland in a poetic fashion," says Marc Melzer, Director of Media and Art with Obscura. "We wanted to capture the arts and culture and revitalization happening in the city." The video installation will represent the metaphoric evolution of Cleveland by displaying the changing of the seasons from winter to spring, Melzer says. The team created the installation by visiting the site, selecting the building and then obtaining the architectural drawings. They recreated the building in a 3D virtual program and simulated their projections before creating the media. Eight projectors will tie together in order to create one seamless image on the facade of the building. The projected image will be approximately 150 feet wide! The Pool: Artist Jen Lewin's interactive work, which has been displayed all over the world, is coming to Cleveland. This large-scale installation "is an environment of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads," according to the AHA! website. "By entering the pool, you enter a world where community play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively." The Pool consists of 240 interactive platforms, each one three feet in diameter, which create unique patterns of color when you dance and move on them. Lewin refers to the platforms as being "like LED hula hoops." The installation requires over 30,000 interactive, controllable RGB LED pixels over 5,000 square feet. "My work is usually very large and interactive, and it enables large groups of people to interact with art and themselves," says Lewin. "This creates a really active and engaged community experience around the artwork. This piece is twice as large as what we normally install, and we're testing a lot of new interaction control." "What's amazing about the sculpture is that you can put it in any kind of public space," she adds. "It changes it. If you put it in a park that otherwise no one would go to, it changes it completely. It's extremely popular with kids and families." Lewin builds every piece of her installations by hand in her studio in Boulder, Colorado. From Cleveland, Lewin's piece will travel all over the world, including the Burning Man Festival, Portugal, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Global Rainbow: This installation by artist Yvette Mattern "consists of seven parallel beams of laser light, representing the spectrum of the traditional seven colors of the rainbow, and is designed to be projected across large open sites," according to the website. "The Global Rainbow will be projecting the light beams from the Great Lakes Science Center over Mall B, into the sky. This spectacular rainbow will have the capacity to be seen from up to 36 miles away on a clear night! The colorful installation will be a dramatic and thought-provoking piece." Mattern has noted that the Global Rainbow symbolizes hope and encompasses social and geographical diversity. Drawing Lines: Artist Ivan Juarez's installation in the Eastman Reading Garden will also be featured during AHA! Public events throughout the festival include Pecha Kucha, a large-scale yoga event called Believe in CLE, and the East Meets West Glow Ride.

parks 2.0: focus now shifting from developments to green space in between

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
As urban neighborhoods become more vibrant, planners are turning their attention to creating world-class public spaces to complement the latest flurry of development. Three new or improved parks have just been unveiled this year: Scranton Flats, the marina at North Coast Harbor and Rivergate.

lab chat: discussing personalized treatments for cancer with the clinic's dr. mohamed abazeed

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
Welcome to the latest round of Lab Chat, in which our resident Post-Doctoral Research Associate attempts to demystify the complex world of biomedical research. Today, our writer takes on the roadblocks to diagnosing and treating cancer -- and how improvements in medical technology are offering avenues to better results.

lebron in the bag, cleveland now seeking mvp entrepreneurs

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
An item in the Huffington Post titled “They've Got LeBron, But Now Cleveland Seeks MVP Entrepreneurs,” writer Daryl Rowland outlines the hard work being done at Shaker LaunchHouse to attract other types of talent to the region.   "Where Los Angeles can be said to be about beauty and fame, or New York about ambition or talent, Northeast Ohio has a long history of manufacturing and celebrating the excellence and hard work required to make or do things well," Rowland writes.   Shaker LaunchHouse hopes to build upon the strong and growing biomedical products and business services technology industry by growing a hub for technology hardware.   “While many parts of the country are trying to attract tech startups, LaunchHouse, a business accelerator in Shaker Heights… is among the first to focus its efforts on tech hardware and interface technology.”   "With its rich history in manufacturing, Cleveland has become the perfect place for the intersection of technology and hardware," Todd Goldstein, CEO and managing partner at LaunchHouse is quoted in the piece. "We're encouraging the undiscovered MVPs of manufacturing to be like LeBron and set up shop in Northeast Ohio -- where we know how to build and distribute manufactured goods."   LaunchHouse has a track record for launching successful startups, with investment in 51 companies that have raised more than $15.5 million in follow-on funding and created more than 70 jobs in Northeast Ohio.   Read the rest right here.  

who went where? a roundup of recently filled positions

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
Jennifer Schwartz Wright has been named department chair of the art therapy undergraduate program at Ursuline College, her alma mater. A board certified art therapist and educator, Schwartz Wright previously worked in various positions at the Art Therapy Studio, most recently as executive director. For the past 10 years Schwartz Wright has taught as an adjunct in Ursuline’s graduate art therapy and counseling program, where she was asked to develop core courses for an undergraduate art therapy major. “It’s been so fulfilling to be able to teach these classes that I imagined,” says Schwartz Wright. “It’s most gratifying to help prepare future practitioners for their work helping people face the greatest of life challenges through art making. The sad truth is that our world indeed needs many more art therapists.” Anna Beyerle has joined Beaumont School as the public relations and marketing manager. Previously, Beyerle was senior communications specialist with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. John Kandare has joined Zounds Hearing of Greater Cleveland as an audiologist. Kandare will be responsible for providing free hearing evaluations, custom fitting hearing aids, and providing client education, follow-up and service at various Zounds locations. “I'm really excited to add John to our already top-notch team,” says Zounds owner Glenn Harbold. Denise Griggs has been named vice president of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Griggs joined the foundation in 2007 as chief financial officer and was elected secretary and assistant treasurer in 2010. Griggs is a certified public accountant and has assisted a wide variety of nonprofit organizations with financial-statement audits, tax compliance work, consulting engagements including internal-control implementation, board governance, and benefit plans. Have a new hire to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll spread the word!

'food buggy' is an affordable alternative to pricey food trucks

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:00am
There’s no shortage of food trucks on Cleveland streets these days, but Ron Nelson offers a way for aspiring mobile food entrepreneurs to hit the road for less thanks to his food buggies.   When Cleveland launched its pilot street-food program back in 2009, Nelson was working for a non-profit that helped down-on-their-luck folks re-enter society. He saw food trucks as one way to do this, yet the costs were too high for the average person just starting out. And back then, there were no commercial kitchens around in which to do prep work.   So Nelson developed his buggies, which have lower startup costs, lower licensing fees and lower operational costs. He launched his company Food Buggy in 2013.   Food Buggy units cost between $4,000 and $12,000 compared to the $40,000 to $200,000 for fully equipped food trucks. The buggies have a lower operating cost, are lightweight and fit into a single parking space. “The food buggies have two advantages,” says Nelson. “The cost is much lower, and it also allows you to transport it using your own vehicle. And it’s easy enough for two people to set up quickly.”   Nelson is quick to point out that his buggies don’t replace food trucks – they are an alternative. “It allows the entrepreneur to start up with limited resources,” he explains. “Yet it gives all the flexibility to get exposed and build a business.”   Nelson touts other advantages his buggies have over the competition: “It’s far better than a hotdog cart because with a hotdog cart you can’t cook anything,” he explains. “It’s better than a food truck because it doesn’t take up space. You can build up your business to the point you need a food truck.” And commercial kitchens like the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen allow cooks access to prep space.   Food Buggies already has received orders from a couple of Cleveland food entrepreneurs. Nelson expects more custom orders as word gets out of his products’ advantages and custom designs.  

sneak peek of the 9, cleveland's 'game-changing' downtown development

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 12:00am
When it comes to The 9 in downtown Cleveland, there's no shortage of hyperboles. The $250-million project, which has transformed Marcel Breuer's long-neglected modernist tower into a 156-room high-end hotel and 194 luxury apartments, is being touted as a "game changer," the city's "first truly mixed-used building," a "best-in-class" property and the first-ever "truly luxury" residential building. Of course, developers are known more for their sales pitches than their subtlety. So Fresh Water toured the ambitious project to get a sneak peek of the building, which will is set to debut in September, to find out what all the hype is about. The historic rotunda The Cleveland Trust rotunda has been completely restored and is awaiting construction of a new Heinen's grocery store, which is set to open in 2015. (Following our tour, one insider quipped that Cleveland hasn't gotten enough urbanist street cred for opening a grocery store without attached parking. "When it opens, we will," counseled another.) Our Metropolitan tour guide informed us that conservative estimates place the value of the Tiffany-style stained-glass dome at a cool $20 million. The guy who designed the murals, Frances David Millet, surprised his wife with a trip on the Titanic shortly after completing them. They didn't survive, apparently, but Millet's glorious murals continue to shine. The vaults Residents, hotel guests and invited friends soon will be able to party in the basement vaults where Andrew Carnegie and other famous Clevelanders stowed their fortunes. There are four vaults in the lower level, each with the same impossibly large, circular steel-and-glass doors. Back in the day, if one got broken into, there was a special mechanism that sealed off the other three from intruders. Now you can get access to all of them -- if you're lucky enough to score an invitation. Imagine sitting in a plush armchair and sipping a Manhattan with friends in the safe deposit box rooms that once secured the treasures of famous industrialists. Never mind the two-drink minimum; our guide explains that guests who don't spend at least $50 on their first visit will not be welcome back. (Side note: The safe deposit boxes themselves apparently are being repurposed into an artsy chandelier. It's nice to see the building's original treasures getting second lives!) The restaurants  Although the restaurants still are under construction, from the looks of things, they're going to be very nice. First, there's a lot of natural beauty to work with -- the marble-lined interior of the original bank lobby has soaring ceilings that draw the eye upwards. This space soon will be home to Adega, the main restaurant, which will have a 2,000-square-foot patio. The other spaces will be similarly impressive; for example, the 350-seat Mint Ballroom in the lower level boasts stunning recessed chandeliers.   The 9 will add five new establishments to the downtown scene. Beyond the Vault and Adega, there's The Ledger, a smaller, second-floor bar; Azure, the rooftop restaurant and nightclub (finally, Cleveland's scores a new one); and the Alex Theater, a 70-seater that will open for special screenings, comedy shows and the like. The Hotel We didn't get a tour of the hotel rooms, but we were told that they're quite spacious -- in some cases, twice as large as typical suites. Rates are not cheap for downtown, hovering in the mid-$200s per night according to a web search (spokespeople won't officially comment on pricing yet). Hotel guests will have access to the same amenities as apartment dwellers, including 24/7 concierge services. Already, there are five weddings booked for November, and the place hasn't even opened yet. The apartments Apartment marketing often is where hyperbole goes overboard, and The 9 is no exception. Promotional materials promise "spa-inspired bathing facilities," "full custom-designed kitchens" and an environment where "the line between everyday living and escape becomes blurred." (We're ready to move in right now, thanks.) These units, which are commanding high prices of $1.75 to $2 per square foot, already are 80 percent leased, according to sales staff. The adjacent 1010 Euclid building, which is less high-end, is reportedly 60 percent leased.   In addition to the high-end kitchens and baths, suites have granite countertops, bathrooms with double sinks, dimmable lighting, zebra wood cabinetry, 100-inch electric fireplaces, 55-inch flatscreen TVs, wet bars, Thermador appliances with gas stoves, Bosch washer-dryers, walk-in closets and cork floors. So what are prices like? Apartments in the two adjacent buildings, ranging from 500 to 3,000 square feet, start at about $1,000 and climb to about $6,000 per month. Cha-ching. Top units are called Sky Suites and enjoy panoramic views of downtown from all sides. At this point we're simply hoping to make friends with residents in the building. Other fun facts Did you know that The 9 also will be home to the city's first indoor dog park? Yes, you heard that right. Apparently there's special technology for flushing. We didn't ask for specifics. There are 2,500 people presently working in three shifts on this project. It's one of the most complex real estate transactions in the city's history, with 140 documents recorded sequentially in the County Recorder's office. By now, it should be apparent why this project is so impressive. For residents, it literally will be akin to living in a hotel, because, well, they actually are in a hotel. Hotel guests, on the other hand, will have access to the city's finest amenities courtesy of the residences. Given that The 9 will soon be "the place to see and be seen," we expect to catch a sighting of LeBron (or at least his cavalcade) on a Saturday night here sometime soon.  

cle's first shipping container-based eatery to debut at north coast harbor

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:00am
Remember the skate park built for the Dew Games held at North Coast Harbor in 2008? Well, it's been dismantled, but the concrete slab remains, surrounded by a metal-flame fence. Very soon the space will be home to the city's first shipping container-based restaurant, Blazing Bistro, which is scheduled to open in late July, adding to the amenities on downtown's lakefront. "We've recognized for a while that one of the missing amenities on the lakefront is a gathering place for people while they're at the Rock Hall etc.," says Michael Deemer, Vice President of Business Development and Legal Services at Downtown Cleveland Alliance. "We worked with the city and with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries to build off the success of Cleveland's food truck renaissance." Blazing Bistro will take up residence in a recycled shipping container repurposed by Cleveland Customer Trucks. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (LMM), which operates the successful Manna food truck and employs formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals, was awarded the contract after responding to an RFP from the city. The days and hours of operation are not set in stone, but likely will be lunch Wednesday through Sunday with some evening hours added as well. The shipping container idea grew out of the Small Box Initiative, a program of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation to develop retail in parking lots on West 9th Street. As the new lakefront development takes off, Blazing Bistro can be picked up and moved to other locations, either in the harbor or other parts of downtown. Blazing Bistro also will be open during various events taking place at North Coast Harbor, including the new Anchors and Ales event, held August 22-23 and September 13-14 in conjunction with Cleveland Browns home games. Deemer says the seasonal restaurant is a win-win-win for the city, residents and visitors. "It's not enough to have a park on the lakefront; we have to actively drive people there with events and amenities," he says. "We've seen food truck owners open up brick and mortar stores with great success. This is a new wrinkle."  

new marketing agency offering free assistance to the right startups

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
After a career in marketing and public relations -- largely in the non-profit sector --Tom Sarago decided to hang out his own shingle and launch Spruce, a full-service marketing and PR company in Lakewood. But the non-profit mentality stuck with Sarago, so he’s offering up his services for free to the right Cleveland company -- a startup or an established company going through transition.   “It’s in my roots to always give back,” explains Sarago. “I know I have enough experience to help these businesses.” After pondering the best business advice he ever got from the COSE Best Business Advice Campaign, he came up with “never neglect a volunteer opportunity assisting an intriguing business.”   Sarago’s offer isn’t solely about helping new businesses; it’s about expanding his circle and getting the Spruce name out there. “I want to engage as many people as possible,” he says. “The business will come. This is about meeting new people and hearing new stories of companies doing great things in cleveland." Companies are invited to contact Sarango and explain him why they should receive free help with marketing, PR, branding or strategic planning needs. Sarago is only looking for the most passionate business owners.   Sarago has recruited the talents of commercial photography studio Kalman & Pabst to also get in on the offer. The winning company leader will also receive a professional photo shoot. The deadline to contact Sarago and tell him why you need his services is August 15. 

who's hiring in cle: urbancode, dwellworks, y.o.u.

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
Welcome to the latest edition of Who’s Hiring in Cleveland?   There are plenty of good jobs to be found here in Cleveland. This is the latest installment in regular series of posts in which we feature companies that are hiring, what those employers are looking for, and how to apply.   IBM UrbanCode, a DevOps software product line, needs a software developer to work on its market-leading DevOps product line. Work on coding new features, bug fixes, integrations with other software development lifecycle tools, and help develop new products. Define, test, research and review code. For more information and to apply, click here.   Dwellworks, a support service provider for the relocation industry, has six open positions in a variety of disciplines, including a manager of property management to oversee the day-to-day services of portfolio properties. This job requires frequent interaction with homeowners and tenants. To apply for this position, click here. To see all of Dwellworks’ job openings, click here.   Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U), a nonprofit youth workforce development organization, is hiring a development and marketing administrator who will assist in all aspects of Y.O.U.'s development process; assist and manage all aspects of Y.O.U.'s marketing efforts; and coordinate organizational events. Send resume and cover letter here.   The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is transforming urban education. CMSD has teaching, administration, and other opportunities available. See the full list of openings and apply here.    Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!

reading cleveland: a summer reading list by locals for locals

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
Getting out of Dodge? Need a good page-turner for the flight or beach? Don’t grab the latest bestseller from the rack of overpriced paperbacks at the airport. Instead, check out Fresh Water’s local-author reading list. Here are 5 sizzling summer reads that we invite you to check out.    

ideation challenge enters fourth year in attracting startup ideas to lakewood

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
Startup Lakewood is at it again with its annual Ideation Challenge, during which people are encouraged to present their business ideas. “People can take the next steps and validate their ideas,” says Lakewood’s entrepreneur in residence and Startup Lakewood’s director of Ideation, Mike Belsito. “Sometimes, the first step is the hardest to take -- and that's what we're hoping to encourage.” Ideation, currently in its fourth incarnation, added some new facets to this year’s submission process. Whereas the last go-around required an executive summary, the contest now necessitates both a business model canvas (a one-page outline of the business concept) and a single-page validation plan, which outlines five assumptions about the business and a plan for validating them. “By creating a validation plan, we believe we're encouraging people to identify actual steps that they can take to determine whether their business is viable,” explains Belsito. More information on these documents can be found on Startup Lakewood’s competition outline. The deadline to apply is August 8. From that group, four individuals or teams will be selected to give a final elevator pitch in front of business experts, investors, entrepreneurs and consultants. Prizes include a lunch with an entrepreneur and Lakewood mayor Michael Summers; a full scholarship to a nine-week entrepreneurial course with Bad Girl Ventures; and a prize package from the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Past winners include Mickie Rinehart for her beer flavoring Hops Drops, Daniel Dudley for the co-working space Lakework+ and Ahmie Young’s The Parenting Shop. However, Startup shouldn’t be thought of as an incubator for small businesses. “We believed that we could create an environment that could be helpful and serve as a connector to entrepreneurs and soon-to-be entrepreneurs,” says Belsito. “The city recognized that it wanted to be more entrepreneurially friendly and encourage people to start businesses in Lakewood.” Further details can be acquired July 22 at an upcoming meeting to be held at University of Akron, Lakewood campus from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

fairfax intergenerational: housing for seniors raising children

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
Joanie Nelson and her granddaughter Jayda live in the new Fairfax Intergenerational Housing development on Cedar Avenue between E. 80th and 83rd streets. Eight years back, Joanie's daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver in a car accident, leaving Joanie to raise her granddaughter. It's hard to raise a grandchild as a senior, of course, yet this challenge is made easier by the new housing development, which offers social workers, a computer lab and other support services that are aimed at helping grandparents who are raising grandkids. “My granddaughter and I are thrilled with our new home at Fairfax Intergenerational," Nelson said in a press release. "I’m excited that the school and church are very close, and we have access to a computer center and after-school activities." There are 2.4 million grandparents raising 4.5 million kids in the U.S. Fairfax Intergenerational Housing, now named Griot Village, is the first project of its kind in Ohio and one of only seven in the country. It offers an affordable, sustainable and supportive environment for seniors 55 and older who are raising children. Griot Village was designed in accordance with Enterprise Green Community standards. The development consists of 40 new townhomes with a shared courtyard that promotes a sense of community. A Supportive Services Coordinator provides onsite services to residents. There are eight buildings, each of which has five housing units. Each unit offers homework stations and play areas, and there's an onsite community center. The new residents are in close proximity to a commercial and retail development, walking distance to University Circle, and a short distance from several major medical centers and local schools. "This development allows grandparents to be in an environment where they can be free with fact that they’re raising a child," says Jeffrey Patterson, CEO of CMHA. "You may have seniors who live in one of our senior buildings and are taking on that role, but our senior buildings were not built for that purpose. Here, there’s play equipment on the property. There's a community center where there are educational opportunities. It's in an area that provides good development opportunities for youth and seniors. We can help them to be successful." The total project investment amount was $12 million, which was funded primarily by Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The development is a partnership between CMHA and Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation.  

groundbreaking from the start: how local companies helped shape the world

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
From Charles F. Brush to John D. Rockefeller, Cleveland has been home to entrepreneurs with innovations that helped shape the world. We take a look at some of Cleveland’s ground breaking companies -- some old, some new -- to see what makes the company unique, how it achieved its success, and where they stand today. 

long before lebron's return, cleveland on the upswing

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:00am
In an Los Angeles Times article titled “Cleveland has been on the rebound even before LeBron James news,” writer Alana Semuels details our town’s renaissance, explaining that the city has been hard at work getting back on the map long before the recent media attention as a result of LeBron, Manziel, and the GOP convention.   “The GOP and LeBron are going to grease the skids on a process that's already started," Richey Piiparinen, a senior research associate at the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, is quoted in the piece. "People are realizing it's not your grandpa's Rust Belt anymore."   Semuels writes, “Changes are already evident in the city, where new construction is booming. Hammers and drills sound at all hours on the Flats East Bank, a onetime hip area that fell into disarray a decade ago and is experiencing a renaissance. Downtown, a new convention center just opened, and developers are rushing to build hotels and luxury condos to keep up with demand. Ohio's first casino opened downtown in 2012. And restaurateurs are following in the steps of Cleveland native and James Beard Award winner Michael Symon, opening bistros where you can get entrees such as frog legs and rabbit pie with Parmesan and prosciutto crust.”   Semuels goes on to explain how the changes occurring in Cleveland are attracting young people that had previously fled to larger, trendier cities.   “But as those cities became more crowded with transplants, costs began rising and many people were priced out. Now, he said, there's a push-back against the Brooklynization of these big cities, and people are moving home. And not just to Cleveland -- to Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Buffalo, N.Y., as well.”   Read the rest of the article here.

group plan commission announces details, first major grant for new park

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:00am
Internationally renowned landscape architect James Corner recently unveiled his new plan for Cleveland’s Public Square at the City Club. The square’s four quadrants will be connected via swaths of green space and a pathway, closing Ontario and limiting Superior to buses. It will include a water feature that will allow visitors to dip their toes in the cooling waters, sloped seating embedded in a hillside for concerts or movies, a café and natural landscaping.   Now, thanks to an $8 million gift from the Cleveland Foundation, the long-planned changes are one step closer to reality. LAND Studio, a local nonprofit that helps to design vibrant public spaces, will receive grant funding to help implement the Group Plan Commission’s design. The award is part of a special series of grants the foundation is making to celebrate its centennial. The south plaza of the park will be named “Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza.” "This is important because it's the Cleveland Foundation taking a leadership role and saying this transformation is critical for the city’s future," says Jeremy Paris, Executive Director of the Group Plan Commission. "It's a way for them to impact the city for this generation and generations to come, and a validation of the work we’re trying to do. In addition, the gift itself is catalytic for our funding goals." Paris says the goal is still to break ground on the project this year, and to complete the Public Square redesign by 2016, in time for major events occurring that year. In his City Club presentation, Corner outlined the importance of public space in an economy where cities are competing for tourism and residents: “Cities are reinvesting, in a bid to retain a competitive edge, in the public realm.” With the recently renovated mall atop the convention center, Cleveland now has an opportunity to create signature public spaces connected to the lake.     Corner presented key aspects of the design. The northern half of the mall will feature a manmade hill with seating seamlessly cut into it. It will also include additional foliage and gardens, with trees positioned to avoid interrupting views yet also to keep the park visible from the surrounding streets. The new water feature will be a reflective pool, yet it will also have jets. As in many other cities, Cleveland will soon have a fountain where kids can play on hot summer days.   When the next Polar Vortex returns, this area can be transitioned into an ice skating rink so that Clevelanders can take advantage of winter activities on Public Square.   The cafe will be located on the south side of the park. The concept and operator have not yet been chosen, but it will likely be a fast-casual sandwich and coffee shop. The Sailors and Soldiers monument will be well preserved and improved as part of the project. New lighting will highlight the historic monument and the design will open up the space around it to provide uninterrupted views.    In his talk, Corner called attention to the importance of simply populating parks, as well as offering creative, interactive programming. “People love to simply lounge, to be with other people and see others,” he explained.   Closing Ontario and limiting Superior to buses remains somewhat controversial, with some wanting not to close the streets and others wanting to close Superior entirely. Corner noted that Superior could be closed occasionally and lined with tents for farmers markets or festivals in the summer months. Design elements will help make crossing Superior a pedestrian-friendly experience. “Our traffic engineers are nationally renowned for traffic planning, and in their estimation, what we’re doing is a good thing in terms of how traffic works in Cleveland,” Corner stated. Finally, Corner noted how public space can generate economic development in cities. James Corner Field Operations previously had worked on the High Line in New York City. This revolutionary park transformed an abandoned elevated rail line that was once seen as a blemish in the neighborhoods through which it ran. It was about to be torn down until a neighborhood group had the visionary idea to turn it into a park. The High Line is now the second most visited tourist attraction in New York City, attracting 4.5 million people in 2012. It has spurred $2 billion in economic development and 12,000 new jobs in neighborhoods flanking the park.   “These are significant investments that aren’t only beautifying, aren’t only socially enriching and enhancing, but also will boost the economy of the city if not the region," Corner stated.

waterloo arts district announces launch of new businesses, including bright coffee bar

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:00am
Every great neighborhood has a great coffee shop. Yet the evolving Waterloo Arts District, home to the Beachland Ballroom and a bevy of art galleries and record stores, currently lacks one. That's going to change soon, as Kimberly Homan, originator of Beachland's popular Sunday brunch, is planning to open Bright Coffee Bar on Waterloo's east end. "I'm pretty invested, having put a lot of time in on Waterloo," says Homan, who has worked on the street for more than eight years. "I love the atmosphere and attitude. It's still a work in progress but we're all kind of growing together." Bright is just one of several new businesses that will open on Waterloo later this year or early next year as part of Operation Light Switch. Waterloo Brew, the new neighborhood-inspired craft beer that will be brewed in the reworked Slovenian Workmen's Home, will hold a launch party on Friday, October 3rd. Restauranteur Tom Bell of the Flying Monkey Pub in Tremont has announced that his newest project, in the former Harbor Inn, will be called the Millard Fillmore Presidential Library. And Satellite Gallery and Ink House are under construction on E. 156th Street. With the new streetscape set to be unveiled this fall, Waterloo is ready to celebrate and welcome these new businesses, which will only add to the street's revitalization. Other new launches either under construction or soon to break ground include the fiber and textile studio Praxis, the ceramic studio and gallery Brick, and the long-awaited restaurant Crop Rocks, led by well-known chef Steve Schimoler. Bright Coffee Bar might not open until next year -- the construction schedule is still fluid -- but Homan says it will add a much-needed piece to the Waterloo development puzzle. Regular amenities such as coffee shops and restaurants will help to drive more consistent traffic on the street. Homan, who originally is from Collinwood and lives in the neighborhood, couldn't be more excited about returning to the street as the proprietor of a new business. Bright will be small and cozy, a community hub with excellent coffee and baked goods. The entire building is being renovated inside and out by Northeast Shores Development Corporation. Homan plans to incorporate healthy, seasonal and local food, and will purchase her coffee from Solstice Roasters in Midtown. "They do wonderful things with coffee," she says. "They really bring out the flavor profile of the beans they roast, which are done in small batches. They focus on medium roasts, not the Starbucks culture where they're all burnt. They're flavorful, bright coffees." Bright also will feature baked goods from Goody Two Shoes Bakery, including vegan and gluten free options. Homan also plans to offer vegan hot chocolate. The space will have large bay windows with seating. There will also be seating at the coffee bar and a few tables in the front room. In the back room, there will be a lounge area with chairs and couches. The entire place will seat 24-30 people. It will be connected to Brick ceramic studio and gallery, which is opening in the same property. Homan has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get Bright brewing.

new energy drink kicks all that sugar and acid to the curb

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 12:00am
Brothers Jarred and Brandon Smith were avid hockey players in college, and like most athletes, they used sports drinks to supplement their energy needs.     However, as a college senior, Jarred eventually began to experience acid reflux as a result of the elevated acid content in traditional sports drinks. So the brothers, graduates of Miami and Brown universities, sought to create a healthier sports drink without all that sugary acid.   Along with partner Chris Cummins, the brothers toiled for over a year creating an electrolyte-based drink, eventually unveiling NOOMA, which is shorthand for “No More Acid.”   NOOMA relies on a healthier, minimalized approach to formulation. “NOOMA doesn’t have any acid or preservatives, which gives it a light, smooth taste,” says Jarred. “It also has a very appealing formula with only 10 calories and two grams of sugar, a blend of five electrolytes with a high level of potassium. There are no GMOs, artificial flavors or sweeteners, meaning it’s gluten-free and vegan.”   Last fall the Smiths introduced NOOMA in Northeast Ohio. “We decided to bring NOOMA to Cleveland first because it is our hometown,” says management. “Being from Cleveland we know the power of this community and the support that Clevelanders give each other, something we definitely have felt since we launched last fall.”   Right now, NOOMA is headed by the Smiths and Cummins, with one other employee. The brothers wish to grow into a national brand while keeping the principles of health in the forefront, beginning with distribution in Northeast Ohio yoga studios, CrossFit gyms, and Heinen’s stores.  ?