A new artist-driven event center and co-working space will open in a space formerly occupied by an old butcher shop in Over-the-Rhine.
Action Tank, a nonprofit think tank that will have its headquarters in the building, plans to open the Volkshaus – German for "the people's house'' – in the spring of 2023 at 123 E. McMicken Ave.
Built in 1880, the building will be transformed from a multi-family complex into a "community space that has the vibe of a coffee shop'' for artists, creative thinkers, community activists and others, said Ioanna Paraskevopoulos, executive director at Action Tank, which helps facilitate civic engagement in local politics, among other things.
Action Tank is partnering on the project with OTR-based OTR Adopt - the nonprofit that bought the building in 2019 and is dedicated to preserving Cincinnati's historic buildings and architecture.
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Action Tank will lease the building from OTR Adopt and use proceeds from subleasing the co-working spaces to pay the rent, Paraskevopoulos said.
The first floor and outdoor area of the historic building will be carefully adapted into welcoming spaces that can be used for events and community-organized gatherings she said.
When the first floor and outdoor space are not in use as event spaces, they, along with the second floor, will be available as a sliding scale co-working space for residents and community members.
The second floor will be designated as a quiet office and conference room space with shelving for a resource library.
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“The goal is to recapture the traditional conviviality of Over-the-Rhine in a space that cuts across lines of race and class,'' said OTR Adopt Executive Director Danny Klingler.
Over-the-Rhine: $50 million Willkommen project reflects OTR's German roots.