2013 Yellow Springs year in review: village economy
- Published: January 2, 2014
• New businesses
• Plans for Barr property
Servlet returns to familiar hands
Local Internet provider Servlet, which was purchased in spring of 2012 by local resident Roi Qualls and a small group of investors, was bought back in January of this year by former owner Bruce Cornett.
Ohio Vintage opens on Xenia Avenue
Brothers John-Marcus and Josh Murray opened Ohio Vintage above The Winds Cafe at 213 Xenia Ave., a space formerly occupied by Basho, in January. The store specializes in antique and vintage items, such as costume jewelry, dinnerware, and furniture.
New firm helps village go green
Local HVAC company Lindstrom-Sprague Mechanical services, owned by Scott and Shannon Lindstrom, merged with Yellow Springs Renewable Energy, an off-shoot founded by the Lindstroms in 2010, to form GreenTech Energy Solutions.
Creative Memories building sold
In January Creative Memories, formerly the home of Antioch Publishing, announced it would sell its East Enon Road facility to International Auction and Appraisal Services Worldwide. The 90,000 square foot building on the west edge of town, formerly the home of Antioch Publishing, had been partly empty for about two years, since the company moved all its work to St. Cloud, Minn. Antioch University and eHealth Data Solutions occupy about half of the building space.
However, the expected deal fell through and the facility sat half empty for most of 2013, until being sold in November for $700,000 to an investment group from the west coast. The group, which was represented by Dayton NAI, has no connection to the village, according to representative Russell Maas, but bought the building out of interest in the village’s highly educated work force. Maas said the group is interested in converting some of the empty space into more offices, and would consider a business incubator.
In a December interview, Maas said he had three prospective businesses interested in renting the space.
Rhodes opens Sidedoor Salon
Andrea Rhodes opened the Sidedoor Salon, a new hair styling business, located around the side of 108 Dayton St. Rhodes brings to her business 12 years of experience, including several years at Wavelength, along with a background of Reiki.
The game’s afoot with YS-Opoly
An informal group of merchants and villagers, in an effort to promote the village, designed a local Monopoly board game early in the year. The effort, led by Brian Housh, sought sponsorship from local businesses and individuals who, in return for their financial support, received representation in the game in the form of board spaces, playing pieces, cards and money bearing their logos, slogans, etc., as well as copies of the game. YS-Opoly officially launched and became available for purchase in June.
New ownership for Springs Motel
In March, local resident Kat Krehbiel purchased the Springs Motel from its previous owner, villager Eric Clark. Krehbiel is also the owner of New Liberty Farms.
Arthur Morgan House up for sale
After operating the Arthur Morgan House for nine years, owner Suzanne Oldham decided to sell the bed and breakfast in March. Oldham was a newcomer to the hospitality business when she bought the house, built by former Antioch College President Arthur Morgan in 1921.
After nearly 10 years of operation, Chen’s Asian Bistro, the village’s first and only Chinese restaurant, closed at the end of March. According to the restaurant’s former owner Jenny Chen, the business closed after a lease agreement could not be reached with the property owner, Lisa Cermele.
New, fashionable kicks for the village
In March, local resident Elaine Chappelle opened a new shoe store, Sweet Sanaa, on Dayton Street. Chappelle opened the store with partners Dawn Malepe and Lisa Ringer. According to Chappelle, the store is named for her daughter, Sanaa.
Food carts roll into business
Two new food carts began operating in the parking lot of the Village BP station on Xenia Avenue and Corry Street this summer. Pig Wings Barbeque, owned by Tomaz and Margaret Williams, debuted in early June, offering pulled pork, ribs and “pig wings,” described as the shank of the pig that comes with an exposed rib that can be used as a handle.
Also in June, the Tik’s Thai Express truck began making appearances at the BP.
No GMO for local health food store
This year, local business owner Marnie Neumann vowed to stop purchasing products for her store, Starflower Natural Foods, that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMO. For the most part, U.S. companies are not required to label food items as genetically modified, which makes it difficult to avoid GMOs.
Dressmaker sets up shop in village
BouChic, a new alterations and dressmaking business owned by Zara McCartney, opened on Xenia Avenue. McCartney moved to Yellow Springs to set up shop after running BouChic online. However, McCartney will be moving again and will close her business by the end of the year.
EnviroFlight debuts new product
Local company EnviroFlight, owned by Glen Courtright, started by raising black soldier fly larvae to become fish food, and this year it began selling a new product: a nutrient-rich plant food. The fertilizer, Yellow Springs Select All-Natural Plant Food, is a byproduct of the EnviroFlight process, made from the excretions of the fly larvae.
In September, the business received major press coverage in reports that aired on NPR’s All Things Considered and CNN, the latter of which sent a cameraman from Atlanta to trail Courtright for a spot on “Erin Burnet Outfront.”
Clifton B&B goes up for sale
Sharon Benedict and Lisa Quesne, the owners of Herbs & Lace, a Clifton bed and breakfast, put the B & B up for sale in September. The two bought their Clifton home 12 years ago, and it came complete with an abandoned 100-year-old cottage in the back yard. They renovated the cottage, which initially had no indoor plumbing or running water, into the bed and breakfast, and put it up for sale when they decided to downsize.
Morris Bean cited over wastewater
Morris Bean & Company was cited by the EPA this year for releasing industrial wastewater into a sinkhole and potentially contaminating groundwater in the Village’s source water protection area. In 2012, Morris Bean received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to release wastewater from its onsite pond into an unnamed Glen Helen stream 2.5 acres of restored wetland before it enters the Little Miami River. Discharging the wastewater into a sinkhole violated that permit because the wastewater was pouring directly into the groundwater, which is the source of the Village’s municipal water supply, rather than into the stream. Initial water sampling of the wastewater entering the sinkhole detected no toxic chemicals, according to the Ohio EPA. However, Morris Bean officials said they plan to fill in the sinkhole.
Oten Gallery gains café, loses store
Aleta’s Café, owned by Matthew Willis and Gregg Pastorelle, opened at the Oten Gallery in fall of this year. The restaurant operates under a temporary license from the Greene County Health Department, serving customers during limited hours, and is projected to open with regular hours next spring.
The Asian Collection, which operated in the Oten Gallery for 13 years, will close up shop in January.
Epic Book Shop returns to the village
The Epic Book Shop, which closed its doors on Dayton Street four years ago, reopened this year on Xenia Avenue in the space previously occupied by Main Squeeze. Gail Lichtenfels owned and operated the original Epic Book Shop from 1974 until 2009, selling new books. In its new incarnation, Lichtenfels will be buying and selling used books.
Barr Property to house new hotel
Jim, Libby and Katie Hammond announced in November their intention to build a hotel on the former Barr Property, which the Hammonds purchased earlier this year. A conditional use request for the 1.6-acre property at the corner of Limestone and Xenia Avenue was approved by Village Planning Commission. The change makes it possible for the property to be used for a hotel, restaurant and meeting space. The 28-room Mills Park Hotel, named for local 19th century settler William Mills, will be modeled in the likeness of the former Mills home, and will double the village’s current number of overnight accommodations.
Glen Helen bids for Girl Scouts camp
In December, the Glen Helen Association announced that it would bid for the purchase of the Girl Scout’s Camp Greene off of Grinnell Road, with funding assistance from the Clean Ohio Fund. The move would transfer ownership of the property and put a conservation easement on it, protecting it in perpetuity along with the rest of the Glen.