A former OTR brewery space is now bubbling over with innovation as a rentable space for urban manufacturers.
Felsenhaus is “a 45,000 square-foot history brewery building being transformed into a commercial mixed-use hub in OTR with a focus on innovation, diversity, inclusion and creativity. It has both small and large offices, retail and commercial spaces available. It’s used by photographers and videographers for shoots and we have had feature films and commercials shot on site,” says Shane and Dena Neuringer, who both serve multiple roles at Felsenhaus.
The business started three years ago, when they purchased the Felsenhaus property. “The property was partially owner-occupied and had several third-party tenants and we’ve been working on re-tenanting and upgrading the building,” Neuringer says. “
Felsenhaus is located three blocks from Findlay Market at: 242 W. McMicken Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The business was inspired by projects going on around the country. “We’ve seen very creative and innovative projects all over the country act as catalysts for the revitalization of neighborhoods and local economic development. We’ve seen neighborhoods all over the country where industry faded away and left behind urban blight transformation into thriving districts. Places like the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea/Highline and Williamsburg in NYC, Wynwood, South Beach and Downtown in Miami, Downtown LA, The Distillery District in Toronto and RiNo in Denver. The list goes on and now places like Cincinnati have the opportunity to have once-blighted neighborhoods thrive once again by bringing back small businesses, innovation, entertainment and housing to walkable urban areas,” they say. “The Midwest is experiencing a Renaissance and as a small development group, we see an opportunity to be part of something where we felt we could make more of a difference in the community. Also, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of change in the way people live, work and socialize. A lot of the old models of how real estate worked and how people do business are outdated. There is tremendous opportunity to provide flexible spaces, cater to the gig and sharing economy, provide interesting experiences and help the city to embrace its historic industrial past as an anchor to creating the next phase of innovation and economic success.”
The name of the business came from being part of the Clyffside and Redtop Brewery building complexes. “One of their premier beer was called Felsenhaus, which is painted on the front of the building,” Neuringer says. “We wanted to pay tribute to the heritage of the building and the historic industry of the neighborhood and put fresh perspective on it.”
Felsenhaus offers different kinds of space, including: office space, photo and video shoot locations, storage and especially space for entrepreneurs and small businesses we call ‘urban manufacturers’- artisans, makers, and fabricators who are making things here, warehousing, shipping/receiving, etc.,” they say.
The business’s spaces are unique because they have a lot of amenities available under one roof. “You can roll up your sleeves and get your work done. The most valuable aspect is being immersed within an inclusive and innovative community of other makers, urban manufacturers and creatives,” Neuringersays. “We also have a really convenient location right across from a park, great views and the historic character of the building really seems to inspire people. We have shared amenities like on-site parking, a full kitchen, conference roomand podcast room. We also have four loading docks, a freight and a passenger elevator.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there hasn’t been as much leasing activity and less shared worspaces at the moment. “We are now focusing more on private workspaces, but still offer shared amenity spaces so the aspect of community is still very much part of what we are all about,” they say. “Our initial plan included a much larger component of event and food and beverage space. We look forward to coming back to that in the future, but our emphasis now is much more on providing space for people to get to work: urban manufacturing, studios, office space, warehousing, storage and fulfillment. We are also wearing masks in common areas and in meetings and providing hand sanitizer to help reduce the risk of COVID.”
Inclusion is so important to Felsenhaus. “You would be surprised by how hard it is for makers, these urban manufacturers and creatives, to find a place they feel is a good value, where they have a sense of feeling included, part of a community and feel inspired,” Neuringer says. “We operate in an area of OTR that has not seen the same amount of investment from the city and the large local developers. That may change in the future, but right now, we are offering a place where people can make a living for themselves, provide employment opportunities, especially for people right here in the neighborhood.”