Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago
New research suggests that innovation districts, whose growth is fueled by anchor institutions, companies and startups working in close proximity to one another, may be growing faster than traditional downtowns.
"Rust Belt-chic town for art and culture vultures, basketball fans, and stalwart foodies." That's how Fodor's Travel describes Cleveland in its new list of top 25 travel destinations in 2015. The article also praises "culinary kings like Michael Symon and Jonathon Sawyer, an orchestra rated one of the top five in the nation, and a major new wing at The Cleveland Museum of Art." Read the full story here.
On Dec. 8, the much-anticipated Tremont Athletic Club, 2306 West 17th Street in the Fairmont Creamery building, opened with little fanfare. "We simply walked to the front door at 5 a.m. and unlocked it," says managing member and majority owner Nick White. "That was the grand opening." Considering the club already had 300 members courtesy of pre-opening sales drives (and now nearly 400), the move underscores White's approach to the business of running a fitness center. "We're not interested in the slick marketing and the hype of getting people in the door," he says. "We're trying to be straight forward. So often the deals you see in this industry are anything but. You always end up paying on the back end whether it be in fees or parking tickets, somehow they get their pound of flesh." Smith vows not to charge surprise fees and offers a simple membership plan: $60 per month with a one-year commitment. A one-month pass can be had for $75 and a day pass for $20, but White adds that special deals may be available for those interested in trying out the gym prior to securing a membership. Members can always bring a guest for free. Amenities in the 14,000-square-foot facility include two full strength circuits, 35 cardio machines, a functional training area, a free weight room, a large class area, towel service, saunas and multi-use lockers that do not require a lock and are reset with every use. Most classes are free with membership and include offerings such as Kettle Bell Happy Hour, Cardio Blast, Three Sisters Yoga and Butts & Guts. Hot yoga will be offered shortly. "We're trying to get a nice varied collection of classes," says White. Members can look forward to possible rooftop offerings such as sunrise yoga as well, although that space is not yet built out. The club, construction for which took about a year, is the anchor tenant in the Fairmont Creamery building. The architect on the job was (ARC)form LLC. The building is also home to 30 apartments, all of which have been leased, and businesses such as Twist Creative and the soon-to-open Good to Go Café, which will no doubt be a favorite fueling spot for gym-goers. "We'll have the best juice bar of any gym I've ever known," says White of Good to Go Café proprietor Anna Harouvis's natural and health-conscious concoctions. Club hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Saturday and Sunday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The space is commercially cleaned after hours three times a week. What's to love most about the Tremont Athletic Club? White enumerates: "It's an old creamery. It's an industrial space. It's got tons of natural light. It's got all brand new equipment and we keep it spotless." He also touts stunning views of the city for those who choose window gazing over the televisions aboard each treadmill. Mostly, however, White sees the venture as a much-needed service in the Tremont neighborhood. "We really understand that this area has no fitness center," he says. "People here need a place to exercise."
It's been a big year, Cleveland, and that calls for a celebration. There are plenty of parties worth checking out around town. Here's our list, plus the inside story behind Cleveland Rocks NYE.
Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series. Twice a month we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply. Park Place Technologies Park Place Technologies has been keeping their clients’ data centers running smoothly since 1991. The IT services organization specializes in post-warranty hardware maintenance. Park Place has a fleet of technicians around the country that can be on-site to service a machine within four to 20 hours. “We can service any type of organization’s needs,” boasts Dan Gleeson, a senior recruiter with Park Place. “We began as a computer hardware reseller, then the founders saw a hole in the market and we jumped to the service side of things.” Park Place has seen explosive growth in the last six years with 25 percent yearly growth for over five years now. The company hired more than 90 people last year, for a total of 330 nationwide and in Canada and the United Kingdom. About 140 Park Place employees are based in the Mayfield Heights headquarters. The company is now planning to top its 2014 hiring record by adding more than 100 more people in 2015. At least 60 of the positions will be in Cleveland, including a training class of 20 new business development associates staring in February. For a full listing of the current open jobs and to find out more information, go to Park Place’s careers page. Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Cuyahoga Arts and Culture is filling the newly-created position of associate for communications and grant programs. The organization needs a creative, energetic and detail-oriented person to work across functions to efficiently and proactively provide support to all members of the CAC team and serve CAC’s cultural partners. The associate reports to the deputy director and will work closely with the grant managers and communications manager to improve systems, streamline workflow and implement key projects in these areas. For more information, click here. Or send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to the hiring manager by January 30. Great Lakes Neurotechnologies Great Lakes Neurotechnologies, manufacturer of a line of bioinstrumentation products for research and clinical needs, is hiring a junior software engineer and a biomedical engineer. Send resume and cover letter to the recruiter. Breakthrough Schools, Bike Cleveland and more Breakthrough Schools, Cleveland’s highest rated free public charter network schools, is currently recruiting teachers, leaders, and operations staff. The organization currently has 28 openings in its network of seven campuses. To see the positions, click here, then start the application process. Bike Cleveland is looking for a communications and membership manager to develop and lead a comprehensive communication plan for our growing organization and manage a membership program to maximize member recruitment opportunities and engage current members to maximize their retention. Send resume, cover letter and writing sample to the hiring manager. . The Regional Information Technology Engagement (RITE) Board needs a part-time program coordinator for its Get I.T. Here! programs and the RITE central office. See the full job description for more information. To apply, send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Esperanza, Inc., the region’s only organization dedicated to the educational needs of Cleveland’s Hispanic community, needs a development director and a part-time mentoring program specialist. Send resume and cover letter to executive director Victor A. Ruiz for the development director positon; and to programs director Jesus Sanchez for the mentoring position. BlueBridge Networks, a regional leader in data storage, with data center services, cloud computing and infrastructure solutions across its networks, has several technical positions open: a network administrator ; a systems engineer; and a data center sales engineer. To apply send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has a variety of open positions, including a library collections coordinator to manage the acquisition of all library and some archival resources; handle the paperwork for all donations to the library and archives; and manage the inventory and physical space for all library collections. For more information about any of the open positions, contact human resources. The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization is looking for a Gordon Square Farmers Market manager for the 2015 season to oversee all aspects of market operations during the season as well as pre and post-season administrative duties. See the full details here. To apply, send cover letter and resume to John Hausman, director of community involvement.
Downtown's residential population has doubled over the last 15 years. Now a new report is serving as a guide for Cleveland's growth, with an emphasis on investments -- from mini-parks to signage to massive mixed-use developments -- aiming to better connect residents with downtown.
The millennials and baby boomers driving a resurgence in downtown living are seeking an amenity-rich environment with retail options. Getting to that point won't be easy, but plans are already well underway.
Downtown is booming with new development, but getting around can sometimes be a challenge. Now key investments are in the works that will make it a much more livable, inviting place.
When Sharie Renee opened Cosmic Bobbins in Shaker Square two years ago, she intended it to be a simple pop-up shop to sell her works and some gifts made by local artisans. Today, the shop is not only a source to find some of Cleveland’s finest local hand-crafted works, it sells fair-trade items from around the world and has become a leader in social and community empowerment through art. “We started as a pop-up shop with 15 to 20 vendors at first,” recalls Renee. “In our two years [at the Square], we now represent over 50 local artists as well as fair-trade artists. We’ve definitely expanded in capacity.” Renee is now focused on local collaborations to create new products in her store. In a partnership with Jakprints, the two companies have created an upcycling initiative and are working on a couple of new Cleveland apparel ideas. “This year we began deconstructing and repurposing misprinted apparel for Jakprints,” explains Renee. “Our collaborative teams developed a line of clothing for Cosmic Bobbins which will be available this week.” In November, Cosmic Bobbins began a partnership with Classy Little Fashions Foundation, which helps disabled people with non-standard body types find fashionable clothing. Renee will be manufacturing clothing for the organization’s clients, as well as teaching private sewing lessons. Tremont artist Paul Duda’s Cleveland photography will soon be featured on silk scarves. The collaboratives can only help the artisan community thrive, says Renee. “We want to see what else is possible. We have to be a little more innovative to dream up new ideas.” Renee spent her first year converting the basement of her shop into a workroom and classroom. She and fellow artists teach classes. Last summer she taught groups of area high school students how to sew and sell what they made through a partnership with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.). “These are youth who want to go into the fashion industry or be entrepreneurs,” explains Renee. “They learned how to sew, made products and sold them. We also donated a lot of the products to school supply drives.” With a company credo of giving back to the community, creating jobs in underserved populations through arts-based entrepreneurship, sewing education and outreach, Renee employed seven of her students last summer through the Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation and a grant from Neighborhood Connections. She plans to run the same program next summer, with returning students acting as teachers. Renee’s community outreach work earned her a spot in the latest SEA Change (Social Enterprise Accelerator) class, a collaborative social enterprise accelerator that provides coaching, connections and capital to companies trying to make positive changes in their communities.
Earlier this month, Gia Ilijasic and husband James Patsche, owners of Gigi's on Fairmount, 3477 Fairmount Boulevard, opened Gigi's After Dark adjacent to their clubby Taylor Fairmont eatery. The soft opening was Dec. 6, with the grand opening the following weekend. "We didn't know what to expect and we were mobbed," says Patsche. "It was off the hook." The expansion was in response to the overwhelming popularity of the 45-seat Gigi's, which opened in November 2013. "If there was a line or a wait," says Patsche, "we'd maybe lose those customers. Now we have a wonderful cozy environment they can go to next door and have a cocktail before dinner while waiting for a table or to have a cocktail after dinner." When doing so, they'll have more options from which to choose, including apothecary style craft potables created by Eric Mattimore, previously of Katz Club Bar Car, who is helming the new bar. If the opening is any indication, people seemed to grasp the concept. "We kept the customers here longer and kept them happier." The new 50-seat expansion includes an 11-seat bar, plush seating, 16-high top seats and a chef's table for up to 10, the only one for which Gigi's will accept reservations. The new 1,100-square-foot space will serve small plates only and will open at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closing time depends on the customers. "We close when customers says we close," says Patsche, although 2 a.m. will be the witching hour. Patsche, who was previously an investment banker before his rebirth as a restaurateur acted as general contractor on the revamp. "We took a shell of a room and converted it to this night club lounge in just 27 days," he says, adding that acquiring the permit took as long as the renovation work. Mark Fremont Architects of Cleveland Heights did the design. The expansion was born of need and opportunity. When home furniture boutique duoHOME went dark earlier this year, Ilijasic and Patsche knew it was time to act. "The space became available," says Patsche. "We knew that we'd never have the opportunity to expand in this address unless we took the space now. We probably weren't really ready for it, but who is ever ready?" When the snow melts, customers will enjoy another benefit of the expansion: twice the sidewalk patio space. Local charities, however, won't have to wait that long to reap the benefits of Gigi's increased receipts courtesy of the "Magnificent Mondays" program, which launced in July. Each month, Gigi's selects a local cause to support by donating 10 percent of the Mondays' gross sales to it. December's beneficiary is Roots of American Music. Previous beneficiaries have included FutureHeights and the Effective Leadership Academy. Patsche says the practice makes a bigger and more focused impact than traditional donations. "Instead of just giving a small nominal amount or $25 gift certificate," he says, "we can give a large check, maybe a $2,500 check for the entire month. It goes towards much better causes. "It's been a great way for us to give back to the community."
Coming off a successful stint in Gordon Square, the edgy Cleveland-based clothing and accessory shop iLTHY has moved to a new location at 15613 Detroit Road in Lakewood. Founded in 2009 by artist Glen Infante, the popular brand is stretching out, so to speak. The previous shop at 6602 Detroit was 800-square-feet, just a fraction of the roomy 3,600-square-feet in the new space. "Last year, we were handling online orders, manufacturing, and customer service at our warehouse in North Royalton while retail, management, and design was handled in our Gordon Square space," says iLTHY co-owner Kumar Arora, who joined the operation in 2011. "We were constantly having to shuffle between two locations to get things done. Now we're able to bridge two distinct parts of our business." Renovations on the new location started in July and included new flooring, plumbing and electrical work. Features include an expansive showroom and large storefront windows to attract the high foot traffic generated courtesy of neighboring hotspots such as Jammy Buggars, Lakewood Public Library's main branch and the Merry Arts Pub and Grille. The shop held its grand opening in October. "Being right on Detroit in Lakewood provides opportunities for us," says Arora. "We felt that a move to Lakewood better aligned with our long term goals," which include elevating the brand to the national stage. Machine Gun Kelly and LeBron The shop's street-smart offerings include items such as the Cyclops Snapback hat, which features an unusual interpretation of a usual local suspect, ladies' swimwear, a host of accessories and prints that blend funk, doughnuts and fine art. High profile fans of iLTHY merch include LeBron James, Joe Haden and Machine Gun Kelly. That celebrity exposure has contributed to the brand's unprecedented growth, which Arora estimates at 30 percent annually. Other factors he cites include ongoing product development, the buzzing local sports scene and Cleveland's overall renaissance. "It doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon," says an optimistic Arora of iLTHY's success. The former Case Weatherhead School of Management student's business acumen does not stop at the threshold of iLTHY (an acronym gleaned from I Love The Hype). He is also the founder of the innovative Rogue Eyewear. Moreover, his website enumerates his litany of eclectic ventures, which range from entertainment management to nanochemicals. Arora's energetic entrepreneurial style is a perfect fit for iLTHY as well as Northeast Ohio. "I like to think that all of us can create change or make something to make a name for Cleveland. Cleveland was known for certain things in the past but what's to say we can't be known for fashion or streetwear? Who says that we can't do it? Who says that we don't have the resources?" "That's kind of my belief."
Professional contractors and tradespeople use thermal imaging devices to detect potential problems behind walls and in equipment on a regular basis. The temperature mapping allows them to find issues such as water damage, electrical malfunctions and energy leaks. It’s a gadget the weekend home improvement warrior would love to have. The problem is that thermal imagers are too pricey for the typical homeowner. Now, Hema Imaging has developed an affordable thermal imager for the homeowner’s tool box. “It’s a device we think solves a lot of problems,” says founder Erik Beall. “It’s a pretty general purpose, value-added diagnostic tool.’ Beall developed the HemaImager when his first daughter was born more than two years ago. He became paranoid she was going to develop SIDS and became obsessed with taking her temperature. Temperature mapping turned into a hobby of sorts, and the MRI physicist created the HemaImager. Hema Imaging’s first version of its HemaImager used a smart phone to map different problems. After an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last summer, Beall re-thought the device and made it a self-sustaining computer model. “You can track temperature changes by its face,” he explains. “We have 20 different scripts that are easy to modify. Everything is incorporated into one device.” And updates are as easy as finding a USB port. Many of the imager’s components will be manufactured in Cleveland. After looking into manufacturing costs in China, Beall found it was actually cheaper to go local. “Going overseas, you have to go through a middle man and there are time delays,” says Beall. “Locally, there are a number of people here who make sense. There are several injection molders and several manufacturers of electronic circuit boards and they are all very, very competent.” In addition to the cost savings, Beall says it made sense to keep manufacturing local. “Northeast Ohio is a good environment for finding people and finding sources for people who make these components,” he says. “We’re committed to staying in the Cleveland area for as much as we can do.” Beall will be showcasing his imager at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January at CWRU’s Blackstone Launchpad and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation booth. At the same time he will be re-launching a Kickstarter campaign with his new model. Last time he raised $156,000, short of his $205,000 goal. This time his goal is to raise $100,000.
Check out a local holiday market, let Lolly the Trolley be your designated driver or join a book binding workshop. Your weekend, planned.
Northeast Ohio has emerged from the recession with a much stronger economy, yet we must accelerate the pace of job creation. Here are five Cleveland companies leading the charge.
Dozens of communities across the U.S. have formed effective, ongoing partnerships with the police that have improved safety and trust.
Our city seems to be constantly in the spotlight these days, for our innovations as well as our challenges. Meet a group of leaders who are redefining the narrative of our city and pushing us to collectively move forward.
Twelve makers share something they’re excited to bring to The Flea this weekend.