Six Greater Cincinnati projects awarded more than $275,000 in Urban Revitalization grants from Duke Energy

- Redevelopment initiative focuses on eliminating blight, creating jobs, and increasing business retention/expansion and workforce retraining opportunities

- Goal is to spur additional economic development activities in the community

- Company has issued $1.3 million in Urban Revitalization grants to 35 initiatives since the program launched in 2011

Mar 02, 2016, 10:30 ET from Duke Energy

CINCINNATI, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Add six projects to the growing list of grant recipients benefitting from Duke Energy's Urban Revitalization program in Ohio and Kentucky.

The company today announced the 2015 winners and $275,900 in funding during a program at Braxton Brewing Company – a 2014 Urban Revitalization grant recipient – in Covington, Ky. The event also served as a kickoff for the program's 2016 grant process.

"We launched Urban Revitalization as a pilot program in 2011," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. "We immediately saw the positive impact it had on our neighborhoods and communities. There's significant excitement around reinventing our region's urban cores. And we're thrilled to partner with organizations who share our passion and vision for urban growth."

Since its founding in 2011, The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded $1.3 million in Urban Revitalization grants to 35 local initiatives. Here are details of the projects that were awarded grants today.

The Catalytic Fund – $42,476 for Carabello Coffee expansion

The Catalytic Fund, a Northern Kentucky revitalization agency, will use its grant money to spark the expansion of Carabello Coffee in Newport, Ky., by purchasing and renovating an 1,800-square-foot vacant building on Monmouth St. Carabello will then be able to expand onto Newport's main thoroughfare – and into the city's central business district.

The project will activate an entire corner of the block at Monmouth Street and allow Carabello to create three permanent jobs. It will likely have a ripple effect on other properties along Monmouth as the business currently attracts more than 1,400 transactions per week.

The Catalytic Fund – $30,000 to restore buildings on E. Fifth Street in Covington, Ky.

A $30,000 Urban Revitalization grant will help The Catalytic Fund restore three buildings on E. Fifth Street in Covington, Ky. The redevelopment of these structures will create 4,000 square feet of move-in-ready commercial space and five new market-rate apartments. It will also accommodate local business The Risk Firm's rapid expansion needs by providing 1,000 square feet of additional office space adjacent to its existing building. As a result, the company will add four new jobs to its payroll.

Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation – $50,000 to restore historic movie theater

For years, the Pleasant Ridge (Ohio) Development Corporation (PRDC) has targeted a 7,000-square-foot, historic movie theater on Montgomery Road for redevelopment. Now, with a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy, the group can begin restoring the property – removing the boarded-up façade, upgrading the HVAC and water systems, and more – into a boutique movie theater and community gathering place. 

PRDC will partner with an established business that has produced pop-up movie events around the region for the past two years, and is ready to expand into a permanent location. The project will create 15 full-time jobs, and serve as a catalyst for additional development and job creation in the surrounding neighborhood.

Price Hill Will – $37,424 to restore heart of Eighth Street corridor in Lower Price Hill

The Lower Price Hill community is on the cusp of redefining itself as a thriving inner city neighborhood. Duke Energy is optimistic that a $37,424 grant to this nonprofit development agency will contribute to the area's revitalization. Price Hill Will will put the grant money toward renovating a building in the heart of the neighborhood's Eighth Street Business Corridor.

The 8th and Depot Project will create new retail space, six mixed-income live-work units, five new jobs, and redefine the building's façade. This project is seen as the anchor project to the entire corridor's redevelopment over the next 10-15 years.

Walnut Hills Redevelopment  Foundation – $56,000 for redevelopment of the Century Theater and Durner Building

The Walnut Hills Development Foundation will use its $56,000 grant to stimulate the redevelopment of two nationally registered historic buildings in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati. The buildings, which have stood vacant for years, have fallen into significant disrepair.

When finished, this centerpiece of the Peebles' Corner historic district will create a co-working space and 33 permanent jobs in the community.

Hamilton County Business Center – $60,000 for small business coaching and mentoring

For the third consecutive year, Hamilton County Business Center was awarded grant money from Duke Energy's Urban Revitalization program. This year, the organization will use its $60,000 grant to provide business coaching for small businesses in Cincinnati's Mt. Healthy, Cheviot and Westwood communities.

Since 2013, the program has proved successful among small businesses in Price Hill, Northside, College Hill, East Walnut Hills, Pleasant Ridge and North College Hill.

About Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky

Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky's operations provide electric service to about 840,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 525,000 customers in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

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Media contact: Sally Thelen 
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SOURCE Duke Energy



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