Hamiltonian Magazine - Plan Hamilton Edition 2024

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PLAN HAMILTON UPDATE 2024

Paving Progress Back to the Future

A LOOK AT THE FLOURISHING BUSINESS LANDSCAPE, FROM THIRD EYE BREWING TO COHATCH AND BEYOND

A COMPREHENSIVE ROAD RENEWAL: PROGRESS, ALLOCATIONS, AND FUTURE INITIATIVES

OUR TOWN OUR STORIES OUR PRIDE
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Charting a New Course

PLAN HAMILTON is a roadmap for development in our community over the next 10 years. It helps shape budgetary priorities, it’s reviewed as part of all land use and development decisions, and more broadly, it helps the City of Hamilton stay focused on what matters to Hamilton stakeholders.

In the fall of 2023, Hamiltonians provided input to help shape the plan by answering this question: What is your vision for Hamilton’s future?

More than 1,200 people took the survey. Among the top priorities, here’s what they had to say:

1. Fix Hamilton’s roads

2. Ensure Hamilton is a safe community

3. Improve traffic flow

4. Add family-friendly amenities

5. Grow job opportunities

The City of Hamilton has taken this feedback and updated Plan Hamilton, including refreshed top priorities:

• Connect Hamilton residents to local and regional destinations.

• Ensure Hamilton is a safe and clean community for all.

• Grow recreational amenities throughout Hamilton.

• Expand job opportunities and revitalization efforts throughout our community.

You can view more information at planhamilton.com. This issue is a partnership with The Hamiltonian, which aims to tell the story of progress on Plan Hamilton.

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PHOTOGRAPHER

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Rick Pate, Katie Simpson, Keegan Nickoson, Hannah Burney, Reid Maus, Madelyn Spurlock

4 Plan Hamilton
• 2024
2024 • Plan Hamilton 5 Business Triple Play ........................... 6 Smart Signals 7 Crossing Into a New Era 9 Active Transportation Plan 10 Fight on Blight 14 MyHamilton 311 15 Rising Stars 16 Youth Empowerment 19 Paving Progress 20 Housing Renaissance ....................... 22 Spirit Club 26 Back to the Future 28 Small Business Boom 32 A Successful Strategy 35 Investing in Safety 36 From Vision to Reality 38 All in the Family 40 Preserving History 44

BUSINESS TRIPLE PLAY

 VINYLMAX

Economic pioneers lead Hamilton’s surge in growth and employment opportunities

Vinylmax, Darana Hybrid, and Kaivac—those are just a few of the existing Hamilton enterprises that have plans to stay and more importantly, grow in Hamilton.

VINYLMAX, a company that manufactures vinyl and wood windows and window replacements, recently announced an expansion: a 150,000 square foot addition that will bring 100 new full-time positions. Having another facility in New York, Vinylmax ultimately chose the Hamilton location for their expansion, crediting the city’s ease of access to major transportation corridors and local talent as key factors in the decision.

One of the biggest companies working to transform Hamilton neighborhoods is DARANA HYBRID In addition to expanding its business outside of engineering and installing conveyor belt systems, Darana Hybrid is committed to making Hamilton better by investing in the surrounding neighborhood and creating accessible jobs.

KAIVAC, known for its innovative cleaning technologies, opened a new four-building campus in 2017 due to significant growth. The company continues to see growth with a 300 percent increase in demand and has expanded operations to include hiring an additional nearly 36 employees over the last few years. ■

• 2024
6 Plan Hamilton  KAIVAC  DARNA HYBRID

Smart Signals

Paving the way for smarter, faster, and cost-effective transportation

The City of Hamilton has completed a $6 million project to modernize its traffic controls, upgrading all 99 signals to a Centralized Traffic Signal System. This new system offers advantages such as smarter traffic signals connected to a central controller, facilitating realtime adjustments to signal timing and emergency vehicle preemption. The project also includes stateof-the-art signal hardware, camera traffic detection, ADA accessible pedestrian ramps, and a dynamic message sign displaying travel time information. High Street, from Hampshire Drive to Eaton Avenue, has seen a 20 percent reduction in travel time, showcasing the project's success. Additionally, the City has experienced reduced operational costs with the implementation of the new signal equipment. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 7

The Class of 2023 earned over $22 million in college academic scholarships

these 15 students achieved a 30or better on the

The

Grades 9-12

690 students

Average class size: 21 students

Serving families from 31 di erent zip codes

90% of students participate in an extracurricular activity

armed forces

5 trade school 8

Inspiring young men and women to achieve their personal best, live their faith and lead the future. 571 New London Rd. | Hamilton, OH 45013 | 513.863.3993 | BadinHS.org Be a part of Some ing Ext dinary!
Committed to serving our community: More than 11,500
only Catholic high
ACT

Crossing Into a New Era

NHX’s transformative infrastructure project set to enhance safety and connectivity in Hamilton

The North Hamilton Rail and River Crossing (NHX) aims to enhance safety and infrastructure in Hamilton. Replacing the centuryold Black Street Bridge, NHX will introduce a new railroad overpass and a modern boulevard north of downtown. NHX addresses safety concerns by alleviating traffic delays, particularly at priority urban intersections and high-risk areas for bike and pedestrian incidents. With 40-50 daily train crossings causing frequent road closures, the overpass will improve rail safety, leading to the closure of the hazardous Butler Street crossing. The collaborative effort involves various entities,

including the City of Hamilton, Butler County TID, ODOT, OKI, Butler County, the Butler County Engineer’s Office, local townships and, as appropriate, other stakeholders and community members. The project’s feasibility study concluded in 2023, with the selection of a preferred alternative slated for approval in the summer of 2024.

This project will add two roundabouts, as well as new sidewalks and a multi-use path— which is designed to accommodate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists—adjacent to the roadway intersection improvements along the Hamilton Freshman Campus.

The roundabouts would serve as a traffic calming device through the school zones as they slow traffic down. The City of Hamilton will seek to complete the sidewalk network along North B Street to the schools through a variety of funding mechanisms. These improvements are needed to serve the existing area, which is experiencing an influx in development. This project constitutes the first phase of NHX. Detailed design for the project will begin in the next few months. Utility relocation is scheduled to begin in 2025 with construction of the roundabouts occurring in 2026 and completing in 2027. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 9

Active Transportation Plan

A closer look at Hamilton’s Active Transportation Plan and its journey towards a safer and more connected urban evolution

Hamilton’s Active Transportation Plan was officially initiated in 2019, though its roots go back further than that. The extensive plan included collecting data, gathering community input, and determining the feasibility of potential projects. Though several identified projects within the plan have been slowed down, the City made some major gains in 2023.

“The goal of the Active Transportation Plan is to get people around in the community,” says Liz Hayden, Director of Planning for the City of Hamilton. “We must invest in infrastructure to make it safe.”

While many projects hang in the balance due to delayed funding, Allen Messer, Assistant Director of Engineering for the City of Hamilton, is pleased with the progress thus far.

“It’s cool that we can check off a few projects,” says Messer. “We are starting to see some serious progress.”

“I’m excited with what we’ve been able to do,” adds Hayden, “and where we are headed.”

BELTLINE PROJECT

➤ In its heyday, the Hamilton Belt Line Railroad ran across Hamilton, up to North B Street and then south along the Great Miami River, eventually ending on Champion Paper Mill property. The short railway allowed local industry to stay

connected, grow, and thrive over the next 100 years until it became a “Ghost Railroad” in 2012.

The City of Hamilton had plans to repurpose the Beltline in 2016, and in 2019, they acquired the Beltline corridor for an approximate cost of $925,000. Total grants earned for the acquisition are near $700,000 and counting.

According to the Active Transportation Plan, the City’s goal for the repurposed Beltline is to “redevelop an abandoned railroad into a multi-purpose trail that will connect multiple neighborhoods with the riverfront, downtown and Spooky Nook Sports center.” If it were only that simple.

Because the City relies on state and federal grants to fund the work, the project must be completed in phases.

“The grants max-out,” says Messer. “The project is divided up into phases to correspond with grant funding.”

Out of the five phases of the Beltline project, Phase 3 is currently under construction with hopes to

10 Plan Hamilton • 2024

finish by November of 2024.

The phasing complicates the project a bit, but the City has also experienced delays and complications because of the significant changes in the community.

“We had to start in the middle,” says Messer. “We were waiting on the progress and impact of Spooky Nook before we could move forward.”

Because the big picture of the Beltline project includes eventually connecting Spooky Nook to downtown, there could be a major impact on the City’s economy in the near future.

“I’m hopeful to see some of that economic impact after Phase 3 is complete,” says Hayden.

The City has been awarded enough grant money to take Phase 4 from design and then start on a portion. Because a bridge is involved in this phase, the City will be working with Burgess & Niple, an Engineering and Architecture firm, as a consultant.

SAFE STREETS FOR ALL — KNIGHTSBRIDGE PROJECT

➤ Safe Streets for All is a federal program that provides communities funding for implementing speed management strategies, installing improvements to better protect pedestrians, augmenting streets to establish separated bike lanes, and the development of safer street crossings.

The Knightsbridge Project involves converting Knightsbridge Drive (from Neilan Boulevard to University Boulevard) from a four lane section to a three lane section with a center two-way left and buffered bike lane. Essentially, Knightsbridge Drive is getting what is called a ‘road diet.’

“We are pushing for major intersection improvements as well,” says Hayden. “Essentially, what could eventually be, a much more inviting portal to the river.”

The City is proud of the grant they’ve received for this project. Out of the $2 million total awarded in the

2024 • Plan Hamilton 11

state, Hamilton earned $400,000, the largest amount in the state. Messer attributes the money awarded to the merit of the City’s application.

“The creativity of the ‘ask’ might have set us apart,” Messer admits. “We are using the dividers on Knightsbridge to collect data and help inform future decisions on road improvements.”

The “demonstration” includes a buffered bike lane that will be separated by dividers and data will be collected to decide how effective the road diet has been. Essentially, the intent of the project is to decrease vehicle speeds on Knightsbridge Drive and increase bicycle use.

While 80 percent of the project will be covered by the grant, the remaining $100,000 will come from the City.

“It’s a new program,” Messer says. “We’ve been awarded the grant, but we are still waiting on the agreement.”

Because the Safe Streets for All program requires the City to match the grant awarded, Hamilton has to wait until funding is received to officially start the project.

“Money the City spends before the agreement is signed doesn’t count towards the total,” Messer says. “The City is still brainstorming and working from the budget, but funding will be needed to keep the project going.”

The City hopes to take some steps forward on this project in 2024.

SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

➤ Hamilton has been a proud recipient of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School annual program four years in a row.

According to the Ohio Department

of Transportation SRTS Program guide, the state awards funding to cities who “promote walking and bicycling to school through infrastructure improvements, enforcement, tools, safety education, and incentives to encourage walking and bicycling to school.” The program also aims to focus on methods to

“reduce traffic around schools, improve safety, air quality, and levels of physical activity for students.”

The City has utilized grant money to complete improvements and the installation of sidewalks and crosswalks identified in Van Hook Phase 1, near Linden Elementary, in 2022 and hopes to wrap up Van Hook Phase 2 by December 2024.

The Wasserman Road project,

near Ridgeway Elementary, involves installing a sidewalk where one doesn’t currently exist. The City was awarded $390,000 for this project and they hope to begin construction in January 2025 and finish by the summer of 2025.

The City was awarded a $372,000 grant in 2023 to improve travel routes for students and families near Crawford Woods Elementary. Construction for this project is scheduled to begin in 2025.

“It is slow moving,” admits Messer. “We are waiting on the actual grant and the design needs to be reviewed by the state. All of this combined tends to lengthen schedules.”

The Safe Routes to School program also promotes non-infrastructure methods of encouraging safe travel to and from school. Most recently, both Highland Elementary and Linden Elementary celebrated Walk or Bike to School Day, and the City hopes that the improvements made because of the Safe Routes to School program grants will only inspire more schools to follow suit.

“We’re always working to improve,” says Hayden, referring to the noninfrastructure programs offered in the City. “We are looking for grants to fund the educational front.”

“You can only get so far with the infrastructure,” Messer admits.

In the meantime, the City will also rely on the ever popular Safety Town program to help educate and encourage students to travel safely. ■

12 Plan Hamilton • 2024

Fight On Blight

Catalysts for community betterment in Hamilton

When Hamilton needs revitalization, be it through combating blight or curating community events, the call resounds clear—ring up the Quick Strike Team. The City of Hamilton’s Quick Strike Team (QST) goes beyond routine maintenance, emerging as a versatile force for community betterment. Responsible for neighborhood upkeep and nuisance abatement, the QST's commitment extends to fighting blight, cleaning up homeless camps, clear boarding at the Train Depot, and helping stage RiversEdge for concerts. ■

14 Plan Hamilton • 2024

MyHamilton 311 – Revamped

A system relaunch on 311 Day brings enhanced user experience and improved civic engagement

On March 11, 2024, the City of Hamilton will be relaunching its MyHamilton 311 system. Otherwise known as “311 Day,” users will notice a slight refresh to the look and feel of the app, but will also notice a more consistent experience across the range of options as well as improved communication.

This latest service request system was launched on March 11, 2020, just before the shutdown from the pandemic. This not only impacted the rollout of the service to the community, but the internal coordination. While many internal processes have improved in recent years, this upcoming relaunch will represent the most significant upgrade to date.

Residents are encouraged to continue using this tool, as it is the best way to bring attention to issues and concerns in your neighborhood. Whether it’s a property in poor condition, a pothole, or a street light that is out, this tool routes your requests directly to the folks who do the work to solve the problem.

If you don’t get the service or the communication you expect, please fill out the survey link that comes when each request is closed. These are read and the City does use them to make improvements. Download the app or submit requests online today! ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 15

Rising Stars

By nurturing talent and fostering growth, educational programs are shaping Hamilton’s future leaders

The growth that Hamilton’s experiencing is nothing short of extraordinary. A quick drive through town and you’ll likely see new shops, exciting businesses, lots of dining and entertainment options, as well as a slew of new companies that’ve gone all in on what Hamilton is trying to achieve. Hamilton truly is… a city on the rise. But there’s another revitalization of sorts that’s happening and it’s all about growing the next generation of Hamiltonians.

HAMILTON CITY SCHOOLS

➤ Within the walls of Hamilton High School and Freshman School there’s a dedicated team of staff that are investing in students day in and day out. The goal is to prepare them for the future. Whether they choose college, the trades, the military or going straight into a career…there’s options for every single student to acquire the skills they need to be

successful. But Hamilton City Schools doesn’t take a one-dimensional approach when it comes to their students. They understand that all kids are different, that they all have different likes and dislikes, different home lives and different gifts and talents. In an effort to meet every need, they’ve partnered with places like Butler Tech (that

has facilitated eight, on-campus programs), Sinclair University, and Kettering Health, to allow kids the chance to explore different career paths. Their commitment to setting the next generation up to be successful doesn’t stop there though. Christopher Connell, Community Outreach/Alumni Relations, started a career program that three years

16 Plan Hamilton • 2024
 HAMILTON HIGH SCHOOL  HAMILTON FRESHMAN SCHOOL

ago had hopes of placing 10 students in jobs. Three years later, 800 have found employment. The generation of students that are coming up are not only motivated, but they’re smart and eager to showcase their skills. What will truly be the difference maker though, and what will benefit Hamilton, is the love and pride that’s being fostered in students for the city

and neighborhoods they live in. Pair that love and pride with talent and skills and you have a generation that will not only grow a city to the next level, but they’ll change the world for the better.

BUTLER TECH

➤ Since 1975, Butler Tech has been transforming lives through programs that ready their students for life after High School. Whether they choose a career or further education, the staff at Butler Tech does everything they can to make sure their students are prepared for that next step. Through core values like: Character, Integrity, and Respect, Butler Tech is shaping more than future college students or employees; they’re making an investment in the next generation of citizens that goes far beyond the classroom. It is also these core values and dedication to what they do that allows them to have an impressive 99 percent graduation rate, a 97 percent post-program placement rate and nearly 1,600 Industry credentials earned among the students on campus. As Hamilton and

surrounding areas continue to grow, so does the need for skilled, entry level workers. Butler Tech, through their vast array of programs, is doing their part to fill that void. Jim Stone, director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education said, “The early vocational education was driven by a philosophy of fitting people to their probable destinations.” In other words, young people didn’t get a choice. They were simply told who they were and what they’d be doing. Those days are finally gone. At Butler Tech, students are given a choice and a chance to blaze a path towards a future that not only brings them joy, but that makes their communities a better, more prosperous place.

CHIPS (CITYWIDE HAMILTON INTERNSHIP PROGRAM)

➤ Three years ago, two powerhouse women came together to address a need in Hamilton. A need for more diversity, more opportunity and more equity. CHIPs co-founders Jeanne Pope and Chamina Curtis wanted to do more than create a moment. They wanted to start a movement. CHIPs is a 12-week internship program that pairs minorities with local employers. It allows them to learn about career options they may never have considered or dreamed of for themselves. But it does so much more than just place them in a job. It’s facilitating career advancement, inspiring entrepreneurship and creating

 CHIP s CO-FOUNDERS JEANNE POPE AND CHAMINA CURTIS

leaders. The four pillars to success that CHIPs has implemented are:

Pillar 1: Work Experience (Interns are paired with employers for 12-week, paid, internships).

Pillar 2: Community Involvement (Interns will take part in community events so that they’re attached and connected to their communities, while also seeing what leadership in action looks like).

Pillar 3: Continuing Education/ Leadership Development (Brings a multi-faceted approach to preparing interns for the next phase of their journey).

Pillar 4: After Care (Interns will receive support as long as needed, offering support and guidance).

 BUTLER TECH  MIAMI UNIVERSITY – HAMILTON

Pope and Curtis have created a program that not only places minorities in quality jobs, but also creates a more diverse Hamilton. They’re fostering a love for the city while also supporting its growth. Not just fiscally though, but through diversity, equity, and talent.

MIAMI UNIVERSITY WORK +

➤ It’s no secret that college is expensive. So expensive in fact that for many, it makes it feel like an impossible dream. But what if you could work part-time, make money and also have your schooling paid for? Well, that’s exactly what Miami University Hamilton is offering through their Work+ Program. Through the Work+ Program, students are able to receive an associates or bachelor’s degree while working part-time and getting their tuition paid for by a Work+ employer. Once they’ve been accepted into Miami Hamilton, they’ll start the process of finding an employer (with the help of Miami staff). From there, they’ll apply just as they would with any other job and go through the hiring and interview process. The program doesn’t just benefit the students though. It’s helping employers fill job vacancies with local, high-quality individuals, who are motivated and driven. It’s allowing employers to bring in talent that they can mold and that will help

SERVICE +

them grow their businesses, thus, growing the economy. But most of all, it’s giving people the chance to better themselves and to earn a college degree debt free.

MIAMI UNIVERSITY SERVICE +

➤ Service+, at Miami Hamilton, is an AmeriCorps Program, which is hosted by the Center for Social Impact at Miami University Regionals. AmeriCorps, whose long standing mission has been to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement, is doing exactly that at Miami Hamilton. On the surface, Service+ may seem like a typical volunteer opportunity. But it’s so much more than that. Students in the Service+ Program are developing and strengthening both their workforce and leadership skills. In addition to growing as leaders, employees, and citizens, they’re also profoundly impacting the world around them by making it

a better place. Students who give of their time and talents to the Service+ Program through AmeriCorps will receive support, a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award and countless opportunities to both improve themselves, as well as the community

around them, making them the kind of citizens that Hamilton truly needs. Hamilton has had its fair share of hard times. So, to see it growing by leaps and bounds, and to see it bursting with new life is so beautifully inspiring. But it’s also why every single one of these programs is necessary and vital to the success of Hamilton going forward. When you combine the uptick in newly created jobs, with the ever-growing void created in the workforce by the baby boomer generation, the need is great. Education and opportunity, mixed with a love and pride for one’s community is how Hamilton continues to be a city on the rise. That’s how it continues to grow. Planting seeds of education, empowerment and inspiration are a harvest that the city will reap the rewards of for many, many years. ■

18 Plan Hamilton • 2024  EMMA CROCKETT WITH WORK +  DALE SAVAGE WITH WORK +

Youth Empowerment

Hamilton City School District and 17STRONG collaborate for positive change

From high school students to elementary students, the 17STRONG movement is making a big impact on all ages across the board.

Hamilton City School District’s partnership with 17STRONG exemplifies the potential that lies within the youth to drive positive change. Through this collaboration, the school is not only building a stronger community but also nurturing the leaders of tomorrow who will continue to shape the destiny of Hamilton for years to come.

It’s not just their enthusiasm but their tangible ideas for the future of their community. From organizing community events to initiating projects that address the needs of their neighborhoods, these young leaders are taking ownership of their city’s growth. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 19

Paving Progress

A comprehensive road renewal: Progress, allocations, and future initiatives

In the spring of 2020, the citizens of Hamilton elected to renovate roads within the city through a levy. Almost four years later, Hamiltonians have already seen the project make significant improvements to the streets, but the $31 million project has just scratched the surface on it’s overall 10-year plan.

According to the 2023 annual report, $5.1 million has been deployed from the levy’s total budget. Of the portion that has already been put to work, which is approximately 16 percent of the total $31 million, $4.5 million has been on completed projects.

Over the course of the levy’s decade lifespan, all 17 neighborhoods in Hamilton will see improvements. Though, not every neighborhood will see improvements every year. Not every neighborhood will get the same amount of funding either over the next decade, as the funding is dispersed based on targeted factors such as; Public Input, Overall Condition, Proximity, Planned Projects, Condition of Underground Utilities, Traffic Volume, and External Funding.

The two neighborhoods that

will see the largest volume of funding are, of course, the two largest neighborhoods in the city— New London and Lindenwald.

Those two neighborhoods alone will be the recipient of nearly one-third (31.34 percent) of the project’s overall funding. When Hamilton residents passed the streets levy in 2020, City Council directed that those funds are to be distributed proportionally between Hamilton’s 17 neighborhoods based on the percentage of roads contained within each of them.

City Council also asked that public input be a key factor in which streets are paved using street levy funding.

Highland Park, Armondale, Riverview/2nd Ward, Prospect Hill, Washington, New London and Lindenwald already had road projects through the first few years of the levy, though not a single neighborhood has seen half of their planned development completed yet.

The following roads have already been paved thanks to the street levy: Elmont, Hurm, Stephens, Highland, Madison, Allen, Noyes, Brough, Chase, Hayes, Corwin, Freeman, Rhea, Edgewood,

Cleveland, Joshua, Jeremy, Calan, Tabor, Thall, Fairborn, Fairborn Ct, Sunnybrook, Sander, Leo, Hermay, Kelly, Gray, North E, and North F.

In addition to those roads, other streets in Hamilton have been paved in the span of the project that did not use any levy funding such as: North B, Rhea, Park, Hunter, Warwick, Black, Essex, Belmar, Lawson, Elmont, Conner, Mosketti, Miami Way, Ross, Main and South B.

The crews tasked with improving the streets have already tackled some of the most important roads, as determined by resident feedback: Grand Blvd., Corwin Ave., Cleveland Ave., Sander Dr., N.W. Washington Blvd., and Tylersville Rd. are among them.

If citizens want a say in which roads get paved, they are welcome to do so at hamilton-oh.gov/ streetslevy. There is also a slew of information pertinent to Hamilton citizens on the website.

In 2024, the following levy funded projects will be paved: Ridgefield, Meadowood, Cardome, Bender, Kahn, Fairborn, Glenway, Flagler Ct., W Fairway, Fairway Ct., Kensington, Tylersville, Front, NW Washington, and New London. ■

20 Plan Hamilton • 2024

Before Before

After After

2024 • Plan Hamilton 21 hamilton-oh.gov/streetslevy

Hamilton’s RenaissanceHousing

Transformative investments are helping shape Hamilton’s expanding housing landscape

Like many communities across the country, Hamilton also faced a need to increase housing availability for its residents. With the ongoing development of businesses like restaurants, bars, boutiques and athletic venues, Hamiltonians are also starting to see serious investment in new housing units of all forms. From infill apartments, to new construction homes, and creative adaptive reuse of buildings into lofts and townhomes, the goal is diversity in price and choice.

Maybe the most noticeable and immediately impactful development in Hamilton has been the newly constructed Rossville Flats on Main Street across from True West Coffee. The location offers an urban feel in

a very walkable area with multiple restaurants, bars, markets and nightlife options for tenants to take advantage of. The modern-looking,

but historically appropriate building offers 1 bed 1 bath and 2 bed 2 bath units from $1,255 to $2,300 per month. CMC Properties recently

22 Plan Hamilton • 2024
PLK / Water Cove Addition Rossville Flats

began leasing its properties after construction was finished.

“Hamilton has really been going through a lot of changes over the last five or six years,” a representative of Rossville Flats said. “Main Street in particular, has developed new restaurants and shops such as a new deli, and the family-friendly Hamilton’s Urban Backyard.

With all of that happening on Main Street, developers decided to build something here for urban living. Something that allows you to live your life right outside the door: you can grab a coffee, a bite to eat, or go to the pharmacy . . . and all of it is walkable.”

One organization making a big investment in Hamilton’s housing needs is the Butler Metropolitan Housing Authority (BMHA). The BMHA is dedicated to providing affordable rental housing to low and moderateincome persons in Hamilton.

Ben Jones of BMHA tells The Hamiltonian they help residents of Hamilton through two programs: The housing choice voucher program and the public housing program. The BMHA helps lower-income residents of Hamilton find reliable housing in one of its 550 units across the city.

“There’s always been a need,” Jones told The Hamiltonian. “During the last few years, COVID disrupted things a little bit. I just consider the data for 2020 and most of 2021 an anomaly. Those were just crazy years.

“We have seen the need tick up here in the last couple of years. We’re trying our best to meet that need. You know, the biggest thing that we’re doing now is a comprehensive rehabilitation/ redevelopment of our properties.”

BMHA is planning over $100 million in investments at multiple properties around the city. The timeline for completion is around two years, but units will begin becoming available along the timeline before the projects are 100 percent completed. Most notable is the 179-unit Henry Long Tower, which does in fact tower over

the Great Miami River, supplying a view of the city. The longstanding apartment building has been a staple in the city but was in desperate need of updates and renovations.

Additionally, the 151-unit Dayton Lane Gardens building across the river is also in line for a $50 million rejuvenation, supplying reliable and comfortable spaces for Hamiltonians to reside in a different area of the city.

However, BMHA isn’t just offering investments in apartments alone. They are planning a $45 million pledge to the Jackson Bosch & Thornhill subdivisions which boast 30 two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses for Hamilton natives to live.

The Riverside Homes project on Front Street is another candidate for a substantial BMHA investment, including a complete demolition and rebuilding, in phases. BMHA’s massive investments offer a bright future for the state of housing in the city of Hamilton.

“There has been a lot of development of apartments, especially here in the downtown core,” Jones said. “And that’s always good. That drives economic development and that brings jobs for people of all

2024 • Plan Hamilton 23
Riverside Homes PLK Site Map

Westfield Place Rendering

socioeconomic categories. It helps pull everybody up.

We do need to work to increase the amount of affordable housing here in the county as a whole. There are a lot of people that are working towards that. It’s a balanced approach.”

Another Hamilton building that is being redeveloped is the former Ohio Casualty Building which was bought by Third + Dayton Properties. Sitting at the corner of 315 Dayton Street, the building offers standard housing, as well as short-term corporate housing and student lodging. The residential building is next to two other Third + Dayton properties which are primarily utilized for commercial purposes.

Pseudo-outside investors are starting to notice the appeal of investing in the Hamilton area as well, and a large developer has chosen

the west side of Hamilton for its next venture. Noticing a need for two and three-bedroom townhouses, PLK is offering a housing feel for those who can’t commit to a mortgage but want to go in a different direction from an apartment.

“We’re probably looking at about two years to complete it,” Nick Lingenfelter of PLK said on the Water Cove development. “This particular style of home is a two-story direct entry, so it feels much more like a townhome or a condo.”

With locations all around Cincinnati, Florence, and Covington, PLK realized it only made sense for them to dip its toe in the Hamilton real estate market. They started work on the construction site for the Water Cove development a couple of weeks before the holidays—which is located behind the Meijer off

Eden Park Drive—and are expecting their clubhouse—which will closely resemble the properties as a model home—to be completed by September. Each unit is said to have a heavy focus on style and design, featuring granite countertops, wood floors, and center kitchen islands.

“Hamilton’s really been on a growth spurt lately, and one of the things we noticed is that this demographic appeared to be the most underserved in form, in terms of new product in the area,” Lingenfelter said.

“What we realized is that there’s definitely a need for more two, and three bedrooms. This helps people who either can’t get financing for a home or don’t want to own a home. To us, this definitely felt like an underserved area and demographic we want to hit. Understandably, we like this product a lot. The city already has a lot of studios and one bedrooms, but when the opportunity affords itself, we would always love to build two- and three-bedroom houses because that renter is usually more long-term.”

Westfield Place Homes is an organization looking to appeal to the home builder. Located near Hamilton Freshman High School is Westfield’s lot which was paved and ready for building as of August 1, 2023. Developers are offering custom 2,200 square foot ranch homes as well as 2,600 square foot two-story houses. It’s a perfect choice for those who want to build a new home.

The influx of housing that can already be seen is only a drop in the bucket from what it will be in three to five years. With units from one studio apartments to 2,600 square foot houses, it will be much easier for every socio-economic status to not only live in Hamilton but also live comfortably.

Pairing that with the economic boom in terms of small businesses and the many additional amenities in the city, the future of Hamilton, OH is a bright one, any way you look at it. ■

24 Plan Hamilton • 2024

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SPIRIT CLUB

Hamiltonians create festive sights, from Halloween scares to dazzling Christmas delights

In Hamilton, a delightful tradition has residents infusing every holiday with contagious cheer through elaborate home decorations. From spooky Halloween haunts to dazzling Christmas light displays, Hamiltonians transform their homes into festive wonderlands. Beyond mere decorations, each festive touch fosters a sense of togetherness, spreading smiles and building lasting connections among the residents of Hamilton, where the spirit of celebration thrives year-round. ■

26
Webster Avenue Webster Avenue Webster Avenue
2024 • Plan Hamilton 27
Pleasant Avenue Webster Avenue Webster Avenue Webster Avenue

Back to the Future

Third Eye Brewing is excited about what Hamilton has to offer in their newest expansion, a brewery and taproom located at 808 South Erie Boulevard.

Owned by business partners, Tom Collins, Thomas Schaefer, Terry Krieg, Mark Buchy, and Kelly Montgomery, the award winning brewing company opened their first location in Sharonville in 2020. The brewery experienced unexpectedly quick growth, especially on the distribution side of the business, and the owners realized they would need

to look to expand into a second, larger location.

Collins said Hamilton was on their radar from the beginning. As they began their search to expand, they knew they would need a facility able to accommodate their growing production needs. Enter the former Pepsi building in Hamilton. “We just kinda looked from the footprint and everything and it looked like it was going to fit our needs very well from a production side.” Collins said, “And we realized we had enough room here that we could go with another

A look at the flourishing business landscape,

from

Third Eye Brewing to COhatch and beyond

taproom, and have a kitchen and a taproom along with it.”

Long abandoned, the building was built in 1942 by the Grand Pop Bottling Company who bottled for Pepsi. The building went through multiple name and ownership changes, still bottling for Pepsi throughout. In 1986, bottling fully transitioned to then owner G&J Pepsi’s new location. The building has been vacant for at least 27 years, possibly longer.

What appealed to the owners of Third Eye were the opportunities this building would give them to expand the amount of beer they could produce and distribute, while also offering a massive footprint allowing for a spacious taproom, kitchen, and event room. Their brewing system was able to move from a 15 barrel system at their Sharonville location, to a 30 barrel system in Hamilton, allowing them to produce about five times the amount of beer they have previously been able to per year.

As they revamped the building, Collins said their goal was to maintain and preserve as much as possible. However, when Third Eye began to consider this location, the building

• 2024
28 Plan Hamilton
 Third Eye Brewing  Third Eye Brewing

was in a major state of disrepair. So much so, that the original Art Moderne/Streamlined Moderne facade was unable to be salvaged due to a lack of structural integrity. Instead, the owners found other ways to showcase some of the original features of the building. This can be seen in the intentional decision that was made to preserve the beams in the high ceiling of the taproom and paint them white in order to emphasize them, rather than paint them to blend in.

Third Eye Brewing is hoping to bring Hamilton’s ongoing renaissance to a new area of town. Collins said they hope to see other businesses move in now that they are there. “We’re really hoping that this is sort of a little bit of a catalyst for this area of Hamilton,” Collins said. “You can look at it as competition, but it’s kind of that ‘all boats rise’ sort of mentality. It would be awesome to see this area turn into kind of a nice little district— bars restaurants and things like that.”

Collins said so much of the growth Hamilton has experienced has been concentrated downtown, and they are excited to be involved in that growth happening in another area.

“I think that’s kind of exciting people too,” he said. “This isn’t just about the trendy downtown.”

In working with the City, they have also been able to better the infrastructure of the surrounding area. The side roads were able to be resurfaced and the parking areas were expanded. Between both locations, Third Eye Brewing employs roughly 50 people. As they continue to settle

 Third Eye Brewing

into their new location, they foresee the growth of their production and distribution as potentially opening more employment opportunities.

Collins said they always look for ways to partner with the community and try new things. The brewing world is close knit, and they do not want to look at other local breweries solely as competition. Before they even opened their Hamilton location, Third Eye partnered with Municipal Brew Works downtown on two different beer collaborations. “We want to continue to do more of that,” Collins said.

Another way they have collaborated with the community has also allowed them to cut back on waste of spent grain leftover from beer production. Project Life is a special education transition program located out of Butler Tech. Students in this program participate in making homemade dog treats, and a main ingredient in these treats is the spent grain. Third Eye has been able to connect with this program and provide them with a needed ingredient. Local farmers also pick up the spent grains

to use for animal feed. “We’ve got a whole little ecosystem just of that,” Collins said.

For now, Third Eye will work to settle in and immerse themselves in their new home, but there is plenty of room to try new things and continue to grow, thanks to the Hamilton Renaissance. Between dreams of getting involved in local festivals, to looking at Spooky Nook, and planning toward events and other phases of growth in their new location, Third Eye is full of ideas and offerings for the community.

“What can we bring as a brewery in town to this space?” Collins said.

The City of Hamilton revitalization is poised to continue into the new year and years to come with numerous other projects in the works:

COhatch

➤ This Ohio based company offers shared work and social spaces that are community focused. Their restoration of the historic Second National Bank building at 219 High Street will contain offices, shared work space, meeting rooms, and more. The project received multiple historic tax credits and includes an investment of around $11 million. COhatch is slated to open the middle of this year.

Beckett Paper/Hooven, Owens, Rentschler

➤ Beckett Paper Mill, which shut down in 2012, could be given new life beginning this year. Developer Bobby

2024 • Plan Hamilton 29
 COhatch

George plans to convert the building into apartments and parking, with the possibility of townhomes to be added to the site. The investment will be around $50 million. Historic tax credits will be applied for in the fall of 2024.

Meyer Brothers and Sons Construction

➤ This Hamilton based company is in the process of converting the old train depot at 1000 Maple Avenue into a spacious new headquarters with multiple workshops, office space, a show room, and shipping and receiving space. The company will initially invest $1 million into the historic depot, with hopes to add employees and increase jobs in the community.

Cohen Recycling/Crawford

Hoying Redevelopment

➤ Cohen Recycling will move from 55 North Third Street to a new location

nearby, while developer Crawford Hoying will bring new life to the property. Plans include apartments, a hotel, townhomes, commercial space, green space, pedestrian and cyclist access to the riverfront, and more, to be completed in phases. Total investment will be over $150 million. Site clearing is expected to begin this year, construction in 2025, and the first phase is expected to be complete in 2026.

Shuler

Benninghofen Mill

➤ Abandoned and in disrepair for over 50 years, Shuler Benninghofen Mill, located in Lindenwald, will be developed by Cincinnati-based development group Bloomfield/ Schon. Plans include transforming

the old mill into a large apartment complex that includes indoor structured parking and 10,000 square feet of retail space. Investment is expected to be about $25 million. The Mill recently received historic designation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The next step in this process is the developer applying for historic tax credits this fall.

Train Depot

➤ The historic train depot was in vast disrepair when the City saved it from being razed by CSX. The building was moved and is now located at the corner of Maple Avenue and MLK. The City hopes to give the building new

purpose by finding an end user for the building. For now, the focus will be on completing repairs to the roof and masonry.

20 High St.

➤ Plans are in the works for the former City building to be converted into an upscale hotel that includes a riverfront entrance, corporate suites, outdoor event spaces and 116 rooms. Developers Spectrum Investment Group and Acumen Development plan to embrace the history of the building while expanding it, and giving the existing businesses there the opportunity to grow. Investment will be about $48 million. Construction is expected to begin later this year with the goal of opening in 2026. ■

30 Plan Hamilton Beckett Paper/Hooven, Owens, Rentschler   Shuler Benninghofen Mill  Meyer Brothers and Sons Construction

Small Businesses Still Booming

New businesses opened in 2023, and what is coming in 2024 . . .

OPENED IN 2023

All8Up Expansion

Bourbon & Fire

Bru’s Boutique & Beyond Cryoden

El Sabrozon

Escape Goatz

Flubs at Champion Mill

High Main Laserworks

Immortal Vibes

Legacy Martial Arts Academy (New West Side Location)

Main Circuit

The Main Retreat

Mary & Clyde’s Municipal Brew Works at Champion Mill

Mirchi Indian

Petals & Wicks at Champion Mill

Sara's House at Champion Mill

The Farmer's Collective

The Frost on the Go

The Local Boutique & Social House

Third Eye Brewing

Thyme Savor

We Love It Too (New Location)

OPENING IN 2024

Agave & Rye

Ciao Vino

Hydraulic Bar

King Corona

Nic & Norms SideCar Bar

Polished (inside Scripted Studios)

Shooters Sports Bar

Stone Tavern

The 513 Bar

The Welcome Project/Wavepool

Well House Hotel

32 Plan Hamilton • 2024
 THIRD EYE BREWING  MIRCHI INDIAN  ALL8UP *Three more food & beverage establishments that have not been announced.
2024 • Plan Hamilton 33
 IMMORTAL VIBES  MAIN CIRCUIT  THE FROST ON THE GO  SARA'S HOUSE AT CHAMPION MILL

A Successful Strategy

At the beginning of 2023, the Hamilton Police Department embarked on a three-part strategy to improve safety and quality of life in Hamilton. The goals included addressing quality of life concerns, improving traffic safety, and reducing gun violence. Through a tremendous team effort, the coordinated and focused approach has achieved remarkable outcomes on all fronts.

Through the first eleven months

of the year, the total number of cars stopped increased by 51 percent resulting in more than 4,587 additional traffic stops. Those additional stops resulted in a 233 percent increase in speeding citations. The egregious nature of the problem is evident as 75 percent of the citations were for violations of 14 mph or more including violations in school zones in excess of 20 and 30 mph over the 20 mph limit.

As a result, many residents have

expressed gratitude for the increased police visibility and neighborhood safety. In particular, speed violations were reduced in the Ross Avenue corridor by up to 69 pecent. While many area communities have seen an increase in speed and crash related injuries, these efforts have countered that trend with traffic crashes down approximately 16 percent, or 266 less reported crashes, and fatal crashes down 50 percent. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 35
Hamilton’s police department revolutionizes road safety with data-driven traffic enforcement

Investing in Safety

Hamilton’s state-of-the-art justice center signals a new chapter for public safety

36 Plan Hamilton • 2024

The Hamilton Police Department will soon have a new home. The city will also see the police department and municipal court under one roof for the first time in two decades.

Breaking ground in April of 2023, the new Hamilton Justice Center plans to finish construction in the second half of 2024.

At the turn of the century, when the Government Service Center was built in the heart of downtown, it provided a new area for the municipal courts. This made the police department pull double duty though, and created inefficiencies. Now, through the development of Hamilton Justice Center, those inefficiencies will be no longer and the justice department can grow with the rest of the city.

Across the street from the current Butler County Jail on Hanover Street, the new project will be 64,000 square feet and a major upgrade from the current Hamilton Police Department headquarters on South Front Street.

“This Justice Center represents an investment, an investment in making our community a better, safer place

today and for generations to come,” Police Chief Craig Bucheit said in April. “For our officers, the men and women of the Hamilton Police Department, this project serves as recognition that the City Council, city administration appreciates and values them. Not only do they value and appreciate them, but they are committed to supporting these officers by investing in them with the best facilities to do the important work that they do every day.”

The facility will cost $32 million to build, most of which is being borrowed, though $10 million will be taken from the City’s pandemic rescue act funds.

The inefficiencies that surfaced when the police department and municipal court separated two decades ago, will save the City annually up to $300,000 now that those duplicated services are no longer needed.

Scott Scrimizzi, Hamilton City Director of Public Safety, was on record in April stating that the design of the facility was based on other local justice centers. Butler County’s own Fairfield Justice Center and Monroe’s

Police Department shared inspiration as did Hamilton County’s Cincinnati Police Department.

The project will mark the first time in 50 years that the police department will move from its current facility. The department’s current facility is a renovated Kroger grocery store.

Buchiet explained in the spring the improvements that the police department will benefit from.

“Little things from the crime lab we will have in this facility as compared to what we have currently. The transportation, booking and holding areas is much improved, having a sally port that we don't currently have. All those things will allow us to do our job better, more efficiently and safer," said Bucheit.

“When you compare it to the facility we're currently in, it's going to be night and day different. I think the biggest thing that we wanted to do here, and we wanted it to be efficient, but we also wanted to have those comforts for the officers," Scrimizzi shared the same sentiments.

The Justice Center is currently slated to open in late 2024. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 37

From Vision to Reality

Reflecting on the success of Hamilton’s first neighborhood summit and what lies ahead in 2024

Hamilton City leaders have been attending Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Summit since the late 2010s. In 2022, Brandon Saurber, Director of Neighborhoods for the City of Hamilton, and Kathy Klink, 17STRONG Advisory Board Chair at the time and former City Councilperson for the City of Hamilton, were picked to deliver a presentation titled “Connecting the Dots: Building Safe, Clean, & Engaged Neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati’s 2nd Largest City.”

After attending and then presenting at Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Summit, they were inspired by what Cincinnati, “our big sister to the south” as Saurber calls it, was doing and dreamed of one day replicating its success with a summit of its own.

On June 24, 2023, the vision came to fruition as the City of Hamilton hosted its inaugural Neighborhood Summit at the Miami University Hamilton Regionals Hamilton campus.

The Summit boasted over 30 guest speakers and few—if any—empty seats were found in the Parrish Auditorium, Wilks Ballroom, or Wilks Classrooms as nearly 300 guests were in attendance.

The original idea, which sprouted in the pre-pandemic era, was designed for something much smaller in scale.

“Initially the idea was how can we bring a smaller group together to talk about best practices,” Saurber admits. “But COVID shut us down and we went back to the drawing board.”

The years spent between the pandemic and the inaugural Summit in 2023 was time well spent for the masterminds on the planning committee, which included members of the 17STRONG neighborhood organization, the 17STRONG Advisory Board, and the Friends of 17STRONG.

Through the profound efforts of the Friends of 17STRONG, especially Kathy Klink, Mike and Cindy Dingeldein, enough money was eventually raised for the City to turn

their dream into a reality.

According to the event’s program, the Summit sought to “unite neighborhood, government, business, non-profit, educational, and youth leaders to inspire and solve problems collectively as a community.”

“The prevailing goal of 17STRONG and the Summit is connected neighborhoods,” Saurber claims. “We are always seeking a safer, more connected, more engaged Hamilton.”

Prior to the Summit, a planning committee was established to determine the framework for the event. The committee kept note of areas of interest discussed at neighborhood meetings and selected topics and guest speakers accordingly.

The guest speakers selected were divided into seven different panels.

38 Plan Hamilton • 2024

There were two separate breakout sessions during the Summit and attendees had to make the difficult decision of which session to attend.

The overarching theme of the event of “Activate yourself. Build understanding. Connect your community.” was supported and reinforced in the presentations.

“It’s important that we all realize the only way in which we’ll survive is if we work together,” says Saurber. “The Summit communicated that many hands make light work and we need to build a bigger table so that everyone can take their seat.”

Does it Take So Long: Solving Problems

Where We Live,” where Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit and several other City of Hamilton employees discussed ways in which the City and its residents can better work together to resolve issues in the community.

member, Kyle Cummins, believes that the event was a success.

It seems that no one in attendance is willing to answer the question ‘Which breakout session was the most popular?’ but the postSummit survey and attendee feedback confirms that the “The Next Generation of Leaders: Youth Perspectives on Hamilton’s Future” panel was one enjoyed by many.

“Hearing the young people, the teenagers, talking about their experiences without a filter was enlightening,” says Liz Hayden, Director of Planning for the City of Hamilton.

City of Hamilton Councilman Joel Lauer was in attendance and shares the same sentiment.

“Our young people are very interested in Hamilton’s future,” Lauer says, having witnessed this intimately over the years as a high school educator and coach in the City. “The presenters on the panel were passionate about their vision of Hamilton.”

Another popular session was “Why

“The speakers on the panel peeled back the curtain for attendees,” said Saurber, “and everyone was able to see how issues in the community are handled.”

Regardless of which breakout session was “most popular,” the overall feedback was unanimous: There just wasn’t enough time.

“There was clearly a great quality of presenters,” Saurber admits, “but everyone wanted the presentations to be longer.”

The success of the event was something felt by all in attendance. “People are heeding the call,” Saurber says. “Attendees were encouraged to embrace the weird and accept the challenge.”

17STRONG Advisory Board

“The most significant gain was the engagement from all participants,” says Cummins, “and the ability to share success stories across various industries on continuing the considerable momentum in Hamilton.”

The passion of those presenting on the panels and those in attendance did not go unrecognized and planning for the 2024 Hamilton Neighborhood Summit is already underway.

“We hope to provide a forum, a great opportunity, for non-profits and community members to share their story,” says Saurber. “The theme will be ‘How Do You Do?’ Sort of a double meaning on a greeting and also an instruction on how to get things done.”

First Financial Bank will serve as the presenting sponsor for the event which will take place on June 22, 2024 at Hamilton High School. The planning committee is currently accepting applications for speakers. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 39

All in the Family

Discover Hamilton’s parks, programs, and businesses that help make it a family-friendly haven

If you are looking for activities for you and your family to enjoy, then look no further than Hamilton, Ohio. As the city continues to grow, so do the options for a fun day out for people of all ages. With over 40 parks, growing businesses, and a wide variety of free activities, you are bound to find something just right for you and your family.

A DAY AT THE PARK

Hamilton is made up of 40 different parks that are kept beautiful by the Hamilton Parks Conservancy. In addition to the playgrounds, spraygrounds, and picnic areas available for visitors to use, the Hamilton Parks Conservancy will also be adding more shelters and equipment bins to various parks in partnership with Leadership Hamilton.

• Pick and Play: In 2019, Leadership Hamilton, in partnership with The Hamilton Community Foundation, put a plan in place to install Pick

40 Plan Hamilton • 2024

and Play boxes in various parks throughout Hamilton. Pick and Play boxes contain sports/play equipment that are for the community to use and return to the boxes. This plan is set to be carried out this year by the Hamilton Parks Conservancy, with the equipment boxes being installed in 10 parks around the city. These boxes

include items such as frisbees, jump ropes, foam footballs, playground balls, wiffle bats and balls, scoop ball sets, cornhole bags, sidewalk chalk, and table tennis paddles/balls at parks where these are applicable. Sponsorships for Pick and Play boxes and equipment will also be available.

• Art in the Park: Another incredible opportunity for kids that is hosted in five of the Hamilton parks throughout the summer is called Art in the Park. Art in the Park will be heading into their 6th year! They have been fortunate enough to keep free art programs for kids across the city for that long through the help of their amazing volunteers, and the support from the Hamilton Parks Conservancy and the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Robin Szary, a former teacher with Hamilton City School District, started Art in the Park with the idea of keeping her students busy with positive things over the summer,

 COMMUNITY FIELD DAY  PICK AND PLAY

“they didn’t have anything fun to do in their neighborhoods.” said Szary, “That was when Art in the Park was born.” Art in the Park has been able to sustain itself across various parks over the years. Currently, it is held in five parks; Millikin Woods, Marcum Park, Benninghofen Park, Virginia Park, and where it all started, Moser Park. The hope is to expand to another park this summer, with thoughts of the new park on Grand Blvd., or at a familiar past location, Jefferson Park. Just recently, they did Art in the Club. Art in the Park brought an art activity to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton. In regards to Art in the Club, Szary said, “It was amazing to be able to provide an art project for the kids to do. We have hopes of doing more Art in the Club throughout the winter months. Our journey has been incredible, and we’re eager to keep spreading the joy of art to even more kids in the years to come!”

• Community Field Days: Get outside and get active at Hamilton’s Community Field Days hosted by 17STRONG. This event takes place on Wednesdays during the summer months at various parks throughout Hamilton. The Community Field Days include activities such as kickball, pickleball, kite flying, soccer, bocce ball, and more. Marcum Park will be the main headquarters for these events, but another park may be added on an every other week basis. The event starts at six in the evening and those who would like to attend may come and go as they please. All are welcome to this event with the main goal of getting people out there to have fun and be included in an activity with people from all over Hamilton.

• Movies in the Park: 17STRONG hosts Movies in the Park nights at various parks in Hamilton. These events are a great way to bring neighbors together for something fun and free. There will be one Movie in

the Park night per month in the late summer and fall. Be on the lookout for a Movie in the Park night at a Hamilton park near you. You can keep up with 17STRONG sponsored events at 17stronghamilton.org/calendar.

EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES

Hamilton is home to amazing organizations that provide many different experiences for kids to enjoy. If you are looking for your child to be involved with a meaningful experience, Experience and H.Y.P.E. are for you.

• Experience: This organization gives children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hamilton the opportunity to participate in different experiences. Inspired by her students, Krista Parrish and her husband Bret founded Experience in 2016 with the hopes to give children in Hamilton more shared life experiences in order to make connections and build their background knowledge. The motto of this organization is “Life Connected.” Krista stated the importance of investing in the children in our community and her hopes to, “make children feel connected and that their

2024 • Plan Hamilton 41
 MOVIES IN THE PARK  COMMUNITY FIELD DAY

community cares about them.”

With the support of the Hamilton Community Foundation, and other generous sponsors, Experience has been able to provide children with a week at YMCA Camp Campbell Gard, college visits, trips to professional sporting events, outings to community theater productions, and many more meaningful opportunities. For children to get involved with Experience, they must attend the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton, have good attendance, follow the rules of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton, and participate in the homework club. To learn more about Experience and how you can get involved, visit experiencelifeconnected.com.

• H.Y.P.E Hamilton: Hamilton’s Young People Empowered (H.Y.P.E.) exists to equip and empower Hamilton’s youth through mentorship. Under the leadership of Pastor Shaquila Mathews, the mission of H.Y.P.E is to provide opportunities for the youth of Hamilton as well as mentorship that can help guide them through their middle school and high school career, and beyond. Students who are involved with H.Y.P.E have the opportunity to participate in cleanups on Fridays where they are also provided with breakfast and lunch, various field trips, exposure to music and the arts, and much more. Pastor Shaquila Mathews says she is excited about expanding the summer mentorship program this year. The

summer mentorship program provides students with eight weeks of job mentoring, outings, and get togethers. The hope is to impact their lives, career path, and to help them make life choices. H.Y.P.E is also planning to host family-friendly events this summer, and all are welcome. Keep a look-out on their social media page, H.Y.P.E. Hamilton, for information on these events. If a student would like to get involved with H.Y.P.E. please visit www.hypehamilton.org. You can find H.Y.P.E. on Facebook and Instagram, call (513) 899-6181, or email hypehamilton18@gmail.com.

GROWING FAMILY-FRIENDLY BUSINESSES

As Hamilton continues to grow, so do the options for great local businesses that families can visit for a fun outing.

• Pinball Garage: A fun, familyfriendly location that is home to various pinball machines. They have expanded the location, which now has other arcade game options, as well as food for all to enjoy. You can keep up with all of their upcoming events on the Pinball Garage Facebook page.

• Legacy Martial Arts Academy: Now located in a beautiful new facility at 835 NW Washington Blvd, Legacy

42 Plan Hamilton • 2024  EXPERIENCE  H.Y.P.E. HAMILTON

Martial Arts Academy is a martial arts training center that offers various high quality martial arts programs such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Judo, NoGi Submission Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). These programs are offered to people from all walks of life and ages ranging from 4-years-old to adulthood, which makes it a great activity for families to get involved in. For more information on Legacy Martial Arts Academy, visit their Facebook page, or online at legacy-ohio.com.

• Smoochies Boba & Crepes: The Best Bubble Tea and Crepe Shop in town. Enjoy smoothies, Fruit Teas, Slushy Fruit Tea, Milk Tea, Sweet Crepes or Savory Crepes. This is sure to be a family favorite with options for all. Located in the heart of Main Street, families can enjoy a treat inside or on the go while visiting other Hamilton establishments.

• Champion Mill Arcade: Located inside Spooky Nook Champion Mill is the ultimate gaming arcade that the

entire family can enjoy. This recently opened location has various types of new and modern games, including video, prize based and racing games. This arcade goes above all with their virtual reality gaming that includes

Hamilton’s first roller coaster— a VR coaster boasting 12 tracks.

• Flub’s: A local ice cream spot that has been a staple for many residents in Hamilton for over 55 years. At Flub’s you can find a treat for everyone, which makes it perfect for a family outing. Located along the Beltline, families can enjoy a sweet treat while utilizing this multi-purpose trail that connects many of Hamilton’s neighborhoods. After recently opening their concession in Spooky Nook, they now have four locations at which you can enjoy Flub’s ice cream. You can also find them at various events throughout Hamilton, including concerts at RiversEdge. The Hamilton location will be opening for the 2024 season on March 1. ■

2024 • Plan Hamilton 43
 PINBALL GARAGE  CHAMPION MILL ARCADE  FLUB'S

Preserving History, Creating Luxury

The Anthony Wayne building transforms into the Well House Hotel, enhancing Hamilton’s hospitality landscape

The Anthony Wayne building located on Monument Avenue is finding new life. This historical building was constructed in the 1920’s and its beginnings were a result of a Hamilton community effort. On December 12, 1924 Howard Heyman, the president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, met with the Hamilton Merchants Association to discuss the need for a hotel to accommodate the businessmen coming to Hamilton. It was agreed by many that this was a need of the city and Frank K. Vaugh, a contractor and developer, was elected chairman of a committee of more than 40 men that were in charge of carrying out the mission of a new hotel in Hamilton. The committee chose the location for the hotel in October 1925, and secured its funding needed for the hotel by December.

Hamilton Architect Frederick Mueller, along with George B. Post and Sons of New York City, were

hired in January 1926 to design the hotel. Final plans for the hotel were approved by March, and all construction had begun by September of that same year. The name, The Anthony Wayne, was chosen through suggestions submitted to the JournalNews by members of the community.

On October 25, 1927, The Anthony Wayne had its first official event with a flag raising ceremony and a stag dinner.

It is now almost 100 years later and The Anthony Wayne building is being converted into the Well House Hotel under the Tapestry Collection, a boutique brand by Hilton. Originally built to be a hotel, it was remodeled into an apartment complex in the mid-1960s. The building has now been purchased by Vision Realty Group and

construction is well underway.

The $16 million dollar project will convert the previously 100-room apartment complex into a boutique hotel with 54 rooms. There will be a total of 5,000 square feet included for an upscale restaurant as well. Cafeo Restaurant group, the same group that manages Billy Yanks, will be managing the restaurant that will be located within the Well House Hotel. Along with the renovation of the hotel and restaurant, Monument Street will be converted into a parking lot.

The Hammerle Building on Main Street, which houses Billy Yanks and six apartments, was the first project that brought Vision Realty Group to Hamilton. When it came time to decide what Vision Realty Group’s next project would be, Matt Olliges, president of Vision Realty Group, saw the need for additional hotel and hospitality options in Hamilton. It was determined that a high need for the city was a hotel. With Olliges’s

44 Plan Hamilton • 2024

connections in the hotel world the historic Anthony Wayne was a perfect match. He shared his excitement of having another project in Hamilton. “I have seen few places with the attractive vibrancy that is present in Hamilton right now.” says Olliges.

The conversation of The Anthony Wayne building into the Well House Hotel will further contribute to that attractive vibrancy in Hamilton. With the passing of the state and federal historic tax credits, they will be working to keep the beautiful, historic features of the building that are still present intact. With the building’s prime location, visitors will have great views of the city and will be within walking distance of RiversEdge amphitheater, Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill, numerous restaurants, shopping, and more.

When referring to The Anthony Wayne hotel in their 50th anniversary edition in 1936, the Journal-News wrote, “Standing majestically near the

site where Fort Hamilton once stood is the Anthony Wayne, one of the finest hotels in the land—a structure to which Hamiltonians point with pride and which many travelers have called ‘home’ during their visits to the city.” Hamiltonians will soon be able to say the same of the Well House Hotel.

The Well House Hotel is set to be completed by the third or fourth quarter of 2024. ■

Progress continues in what will be the lobby of the Well House Hotel and the kitchen of the restaurant that will be housed in the hotel. Historical aspects of the nearly 100 year old building are being preserved in these areas.

Photo contributed by the Journal-News and Nick Graham Photo contributed by the Journal-News and Nick Graham Background photo courtesy of George C. Cummins “Remember When” Photograph Collection at the Hamilton Lane Library

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Photo courtesy of George C. Cummins “Remember When” Photograph Collect at the Hamilton Lane Library
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