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Cooperage project on Ohio Street moves forward with tenants, design changes

Ellicott Development Co. won approval Monday for a few facade changes to its Cooperage project near Ohio Street, after the city's Planning Board backed the use of slightly new materials in several places.

The developer is in the midst of converting the former E&B Holmes Machinery building into its Cooperage project – featuring the new home of Resurgence Brewery, a climbing gym and two new first-floor retail tenants: Jennifer Julia Salon and a distillery operated by Justin Hartman.

Crews are working on the interior "build-out" of two of the biggest spaces, with plans for completion and occupancy in the early spring, said Ellicott Director of Development Tom Fox.

Hartman, who said the distillery's name has not been finalized, said the 5,200-square-foot small-batch distillery will specialize in barrel-aged spirits, including bourbon, rye, rum, gin and vodka. The space will include a 3,200-square-foot tasting room and small kitchen, in addition to the production area.

"We're excited about it," said Hartman, a Western New York native who is partnering with his wife, Jennifer, and his wife's uncle and aunt, Bob and Lisa Hobba.

The salon, owned by Jennifer Swift, opened its first location in 2015 on Elmwood Avenue.

The developer received approval more than 18 months ago, but is now swapping out brick on part of the front of the three-story portion of the 65,200-square-foot building at 55-59 Chicago St.

In its place, the firm is putting in a fiber-cement panel product with a brick finish and rougher appearance. Officials believe that will be a better match to the connected two-story structure that is the only surviving part of the original complex.

The lower-level storefront windows have been changed to roll-up glass doors for two bays, while a buffed simulated limestone block panel has been added at the base.

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