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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ken Bowman Sells His Building; Seeks New Operator

By Jennifer Kohl

Ken Bowman, a longtime business owner in Fort Thomas and City Councilman, has sold his building and is looking for a buyer of Bowman’s Framing. He is looking to pursue more interests. 

After nearly 30 years in business, Ken Bowman has sold his property at 103 North Fort Thomas Avenue.

Under the terms of the purchase contract with the new owner, Bowman's Framing may retain occupancy for up to one year. During that time, Bowman's goal is to find a new operator for his business.

As a realtor with Huff Realty for the past 12 years, a Fort Thomas city council member for five years and board member and operator of the Sorg Opera House in Middletown, Ohio for five years, Bowman found that his shop was heavily dependent on his presence. His retail shop is open six days a week.

"I'm spread pretty thin and am constantly juggling responsibilities to keep up. I don't want to give up these other occupations but could be much more effective at them if not tied to the shop as I have been for so long now, Bowman said.

It's a great business, and I have always loved what I do. I have a large and loyal client base that I very much appreciate. After all of these years of commitment to this business, when the opportunity presented itself to sell the building that my shop is in, I had to give it serious consideration."

Some of the framing options at Bowman's Framing.
Bowman has ownership in Middletown's historic Sorg Opera House, a non-profit, which reopened with a concert Sunday, filling 550 seats. He said that the concert was a "game changer."

"That concert has increased the buy-in for people who are going to contribute to the project. It demonstrated how viable the facility could be and we're hopeful it's going to be big."

The Sorg Opera House property includes the commercial building, with three retail space, 22 office suites and an upstairs ballroom.

The 1891 performance hall, which will hold a capacity of 950, at 53 S. Main St. in downtown was built by Middletown paper magnate Paul Sorg. It was designed by Samuel Hannaford, the architect who also designed Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall.

If Bowman's Framing is successful in securing a new operator, Bowman says he will continue to make himself available to existing clients and the new operator as needed during the transition.

"This business has been very good to me, and I have worked ridiculously hard to maintain its' good reputation and keep any promises that were made, Bowman said.

I have three great employees that have all been with me for at least ten years who would be willing to stay on under new ownership. They are very good at what they do and would be a big help to a new operator."

Inside Bowman's Framing is artwork from local artists.
Bowman's Backdoor Framing opened in 1988 in the basement of 11 South Fort Thomas Avenue where you had to go to a back door (thus the name) and ring a bell to enter. It moved to its' current location in 1998.

Bowman's Framing has been home for many local and regional artists, showcasing pieces in the gallery and has serviced the Fort Thomas community and surrounding areas with framing needs for three decades.

"My hope is that the building remain a part of the central business district and that the new business owner can come to an agreement with the property owner to remain at this location," Bowman said.

Bowman added he wanted to express his gratitude to all of his clients that have made his business such a success the last 30 years.

"I am going to miss the close, personal relationships that have developed across the design counter over the years. The people of this community are very special to me," Bowman added.

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