A Middletown organization received two grants to assist a pair of downtown economic development projects.
As part of its Urban Revitalization Grants program, Duke Energy presented Downtown Middletown Inc. at total of $34,100 to assist the Manchester Hotel and Snider/Sonshine Building projects. The grants were made during a presentation ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Hotel Covington, which received the grant in 2013.
According to Lee Freedman, Duke Energy spokesman, the energy company announced 10 projects that received catalyst grants totalling $307,352 to support urban redevelopment and stimulate growth, job creation and further investments in local communities in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky.
“Duke has always been a great partner for Middletown development and redevelopment projects,” said City Manager Doug Adkins. “Their continued participation and investment in Middletown is greatly appreciated. The Manchester Inn and Snider buildings are exciting and challenging projects. Duke’s grants move the project one step closer to fruition.”
Property owner and developer William Grau could not immediately be reached for comment.
City officials said the grants will be used to aid in the planning of both projects.
The Manchester Hotel grant was for $18,700 to help redevelop the 70-room, full-service boutique hotel and conference center and to create 70 new jobs that will serve as an anchor and catalyst in redeveloping the city’s urban core. Duke Energy said the hotel will also partner with Cincinnati State so that students studying culinary arts and hospitality will be able to get hands-on experience.
The adjacent Snider Building, also known as the Sonshine Building, will receive a grant for $15,400. Plans for the building renovation include a microbrewery and taproom that would create 40 new jobs and also help to anchor the revitalization of the downtown business district. The project also plans on partnering with Cincinnati State’s new brewery program.
In 2016, DMI was awarded a $20,000 grant to help transform what was once a J.C. Penney in downtown Middletown into Torchlight Pass, a destination for dining, retail and family entertainment.
“Our urban cores are the hearts of our communities,” said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. “Today, they present opportunities for positive change and prosperity. These important collaborations will create jobs, spur additional commercial activity, and serve as hubs for these communities and their residents for generations to come.”
Since 2011, Duke Energy has provided $1.88 million in Urban Revitalization funding to 58 projects in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky to help spur economic development in the region.