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DreamIt Health seeks applications for its sophomore class of startups

DreamIt Health Philadelphia, the region's first healthcare accelerator, is accepting applications for its sophomore class.

Nine condos replacing rowhomes on Newton Place NW

A nine-unit condo building is coming to Park View, at the corner of Newton Place NW and Georgia Avenue, just south of the Petworth Metro station.

Giant Eagle looks to open grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh

On the heels of developer Ralph Falbo’s plan to open a boutique food market and wine bar in Market Square, Giant Eagle is exploring the notion of opening a full-service grocery somewhere in Downtown Pittsburgh.

While Giant Eagle hasn’t yet chosen a site for a Downtown location, there are several it is considering.

“We have been collaborating with Giant Eagle on a feasibility study to see if Downtown is a location that would be suitable for them, and the indicators are positive,” says Leigh White of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “They’re looking at a number of sites but haven’t settled on anything.”

Downtown Pittsburgh hasn’t had a full-service grocery store since Rosebud Fine Food Market and Deli, which was located at the corner of Seventh Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard, closed in 2010 after just two years of operation. Prior to Rosebud, Downtown’s last grocery store was The Market on Market Square, which occupied the former G.C. Murphy building on Forbes Avenue and closed its doors in 1994.

Demand for a grocery store in Downtown Pittsburgh has steadily grown over the last several years as the area’s residential population has increased. According to a report the PDP released earlier this year, about 8,000 people live in the Greater Downtown area. The same report stated that in answering an open-ended question about retail needed in Downtown, 33 percent of residents identified a grocery store as their top priority.

Meals on Wheels provider turns unused kitchen into incubator for local women-owned food companies

Senior Services of Northern Kentucky, located on Madison Avenue in Covington, had a challenge. A switch in the way they operated their Meals on Wheels program left them with an industrial-size kitchen that was hardly being used. So they set about searching for a tenant who would not only be interested in the space, but also in making a difference in the community.
Enter Rachel DesRochers, the founder of Grateful Grahams, a successful food manufacturer dedicated to high-quality vegan products and to supporting fellow women food-based entrepreneurs.
“We went through a process of vetting each other out,” said Ken Rechtin, Interim Executive Director of Senior Services. “She liked the space and we liked her, but she couldn’t single-handedly take on the cost of the kitchen.”
DesRochers then had the idea to bring in multiple vendors to share the kitchen, which would not only offset cost for Senior Services, but would also help others achieve their culinary dreams.
Part of DesRochers’ mission is to help empower women business owners; to that end she has already attracted many to join the collective kitchen incubator including companies Love and Fluff marshmallows makers, Delish Dish caterers, vegan Zucchini bread bakers Evergreen Holistic Learning Center, and Piebird Sweet and Savory Specialties.
“The space is being used almost seven days a week; it’s really neat to see all of that activity down there,” Rechtin says. “It’s really a win-win-win and has opened us up to some other thoughts of how our organizations can collaborate further. We’ve talked about sending a Grateful Graham out with every Thanksgiving meal as a way to give back, and we’ve got several more ideas we’re still working out.”
In addition to the kitchen, the Senior Services location has additional space still available in the building. Rechtin estimates that there is somewhere around 7,000 square feet of available office space.

“We’re very happy to host the kitchen incubator in our space and would love to have more people with new ideas come in to use our facility,” Rechtin says. 

By Mike Sarason

3601 market to break ground, bring a big residential boost to University City

On November 1, construction is set to begin on 3601 Market, a project that will help transform the streetscape of University City. Located on the Science Center's campus, it will be the first residential project in that organization's history.

Cleveland-based "Good Greens" goes national

When Good Greens launched in 2011, the founders were confident their wellness bars would be popular. They’re packed with protein, completely natural and provide 100 percent of daily fruit and vegetable requirements. 

Within four months, the Good Greens bars were the top nutrition bar sold at Heinen’s stores, and they also landed shelf space at Dave’s Markets and Marc’s stores.
Two years later, the LaunchHouse portfolio company continues to be a best seller at Heinen’s. The company sold close to 480,000 bars with Heinen’s last year. They’re good for kids with allergies and people have supposedly lost 25 pounds eating Good Greens bars.
Good Greens are so popular, in fact, that Good Greens struggled to keep up with demand. Heinen’s wanted more and more bars, and the company lost accounts because it couldn't keep up with demand.
 The company hired a national distributor and is now in 200 Chicago stores, 150 Iowa stores and 100 Wisconsin stores. Good Greens also is the top selling bar on Ohio college campuses, including Ohio State.
Good Greens has grown from three employees in 2011 to 10 full-time and 22 part-time employees. John Huff recently joined as COO/CFO. The company is growing so fast that Shaker Heights invested $100,000 in renovations to the second floor of LaunchHouse's building and offered Good Greens a two-year lease in the four-office space.
Today, Good Greens sells 10 varieties, six of which are vegan and dairy free. Good Green’s new soy Greek yogurt line includes four flavors, and the company plans to introduce two more flavors by the end of the year. Coming soon is a superfood brownie.
Source: John Huff
Writer: Karin Connelly

Thirteen school buildings added to historic register in Cincinnati

Thirteen buildings in Over-the-Rhine will soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places, in part because of a grant provided to the organization by the Ohio Development Services Agency. The $8,000 will allow the Over-the-Rhine Foundation to hire a third party to do the research and prepare the applications for the Register.
The grant is a fairly new state initiative—only three awards have been given, and the first was to the Kirby Road School in Northside. The OTR Foundation is the third organization to receive the grant.
“As far as we know, we’re the only state that has a program like this,” says Thea Walsh, deputy chief for the Office of Redevelopment. “This is a great new opportunity that the state is coming into with the Ohio Historic Tax Credit program. It will help build more opportunities for communities to attract investors.”
Made possible through a partnership with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, the grant will make the buildings eligible for both the state and federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit programs. The grant will support expanding the historic district in OTR to include the buildings, which are mainly situated along Reading Raod and Central Avenue. These buildings were left out for one reason or another when OTR was named a historic district back in the 1980s, Walsh says.
The total cost of the project is about $13,000—the Foundation will work with property owners to raise the private funds needed for the remainder of the project, says Nathaniel Kaelin, program manager for the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.
“Tens of millions of dollars have already been invested in Over-the-Rhine, and this will only help drive revitalization efforts,” Kaelin says.
Two of the buildings are already targeted for redevelopment, and several investors are interested in the future of the buildings.

By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

An ambitious church-to-residential redevelopment in Grand Rapids

In its sixth residential project in the city of Grand Rapids, 616 Development will be undertaking the conversion of the historic Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 253 Prospect in Heritage Hill into market rate apartments called 616 Lofts on Prospect. Only a handful of such church conversion redevelopments have taken place in historic districts in the U.S.

New bike lanes in Cincinnati's East End open soon

For three years, residents of the East End met with the Department of Transportation and City Council to come up with a plan for a safer, more pleasant neighborhood. And by the end of the month, the orange barrels throughout the East End will be gone, and the longest, flattest bicycle route in the city will be open.
Construction has been done in stages, and everything from Delta Avenue to downtown has been redone as part of the plan. The length of bicycle lanes between Congress Avenue and St. Andrews was opened last year, and this year, the lanes between St. Andrews and downtown will be completed, says East End resident Jackie Weist.
The bicycle lanes are, in part, an effort to reduce the noise coming from US-50 and US-52. There are now engine brake signs along the highways, but that hasn’t eliminated the noise. Residents hope the bicycle lanes will force drivers to slow down and reduce the amount of traffic through the neighborhood.
The East End bicycle facility was part of the 2010 Bicycle Transportation Plan. The area is ideal because it’s flat, it connects to the Ohio River Trail where the East End ends, and it goes by Lunken Airport and along Riverside Drive.
“We hope the new bicycle lanes will bring more bicyclists to the area and bring awareness to what’s going on down here,” says Weist.
There’s a lot of history in the East End—a steamboat captain’s home has been remodeled, and rock walls and wrought iron are prevalent. It’s also home to Lunken Airport, the oldest commercial airport in the United States, and the oldest Yacht Club in Ohio.
Prior to the official ribbon cutting, the neighborhood is planning a clean up of the area, and may be followed by dinner at BrewRiver GastropubQueen City Bike is working with the East End Community Council to plan the event. For more information on the ribbon cutting, check out the Bike Program calendar.
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

University of Michigan social entrepreneurship partnership in Detroit creates jobs

Whomever invented the term social entrepreneurship probably wasn't thinking of the partnership between the University of Michigan and Cass Community Social Services, but it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think something similar inspired it.

U-M's Integrated Product Development class has been working with Cass Community Social Services' Green Industries program to come up with new businesses that are both sustainable (financially and environmentally) and create jobs in the Motor City.

"Detroit is a gritty, tough, resilient city but also tragic in many different ways," says William Lovejoy, a professor of operations and technology at U-M's Ross School of Business, who also overseas the Integrated Product Development class. "These people (who are participating in the partnership), myself included, think diversifying the economy is key for the long-term success of the city so it can stand on its own."

Cass Community Social Services already has a couple of green businesses. One focuses on turning discarded tires into welcome matts. Another employs developmentally disabled people to shred documents. The newest one employs formerly homeless people to turn recycled glass into coasters. That new business currently has eight people working at it, Lovejoy says.

"I understand they are selling all they can make," Lovejoy says.

The mini-coaster business was spawned from a brainstorming session of people working at the partnership between the University of Michigan and Cass Community Services. The Integrated Product Development brings together students of business, engineering and art and design to help create these new business and get them off the ground.

Source: William Lovejoy, a professor of operations and technology at U-M's Ross School of Business
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

University of Toronto releases new design for architecture school

It turns out, One Spadina Crescent, the big 19th-century building Spadina curves around just north of College, was never completed.

The University of Toronto School of Architecture is going to change that.

The school's Dean, Richard Sommer, announced this morning that U.S. architect Nader Tehrani has designed an addition to the north side of the building, which will be built in conjunction with thoroughgoing renovations to prepare the building to be the new premises for the expanding architecture school, the country’s oldest.

"It's one of those early buildings in the history of the city, like Upper Canada College or the provincial legislature, that was a kind of a frontal building, positioned to face the lake," Sommer says.

"It was a U-shaped building, what we call in architecture single-loaded. The north end of the site was never developed, and over time it just got filled in with stuff. Before it was even [the] Knox Theological Seminary and later college, it was built as a prospect for wealthy landowners. That was the original function of that circle. Then the seminary took over and had a building facing south."

Sommer says there have been a number of additions added haphazardly to the north of the building over the years, which will be demolished.

"The project is part of making design and city-building front-and-centre for the city of Toronto," he says.

John Daniels, of developer the Daniels Corporation, and his wife Myrna have given another $10 million towards the project, in addition to the $14 million the couple gave in 2008 that triggered the renaming of the architecture school in his name.

Daniels graduated from the school of architecture in 1950.

"I would compare the Daniels benefaction to what Alfred Taubman gave to theUniversity of Michigan more than a decade ago, and which completely transformed its prospects," Sommer says.

Some excavation of hazardous materials has already been done, and Sommer hopes that if the rest of the fundraising goes well, the entire project will be completed within three years.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Richard Sommer

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Wonder Bread Factory renovations almost complete

Renovations are nearly complete at 641 S Street NW, the old Wonder Bread factory, and potential tenants are in talks to move in, says Thomas Schneck, Douglas Development’s sales and marketing manager.

“Renovations will be finished in June,” says Schneck. “And we’re almost done with the exterior. The pretty touches with landscaping are not done, but the upper level windows are all in and the only thing missing are the first- and basement-level windows now.”

The windows all had to be custom-built on-site, says Schneck, because each window was a different size. But even more remarkable than the floor-to-ceiling windows visible from the outside, are the changes Douglas Development and R2Land OTJ architects had to contend with inside the building.

“We were forced to remove everything—even put in new floors,” says Schneck. “Because of the severe roof damage, over the years water got in and vegetation was literally growing on the wooden floors. We completely cored the whole thing.”

The four-story building now has the outside walls, but inside it is a total open floor plan on every level. Depending on who signs the lease and when, Douglas Development could help construct in the interior walls, but so far the company hasn’t crossed that bridge.  

The 98,000 square foot mixed-use building was reported to have their entire third floor—20,678 square feet of space—leased to furniture consultancy group WorkSpaces LLC, as originally reported by the Washington Business Journal last June. However, WorkSpaces has since filed bankruptcy and so there are no set tenants for the building.

One thing that has remained constant are the 27 underground parking spaces.

The Wonder Bread Factory was originally a three-story building built sometime between 1900 to 1920 as the Dorsh’s White Cross Bakery. Wonder Bread and Hostess Cake producer Continental  Baking Co. then bought the building in 1936. The building was closed in the 1980s and has since been vacant.
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