NEWARK – The 10 acre property on West Main Street where Newark area residents worked in factories for more than a century is becoming a place where they now rest, entertainment, eat, drink, art, shop and looking for a home.
Newark Station, a massive $ 11 million multi-purpose redevelopment project, already has four lighted sand volleyball courts, an outdoor taco bar, and live music in the first phase of a four-phase redevelopment, Friday night at 325 West Main St.
Todd Alexander, president of property owner A4 Ragtime Band Development, and Seth Stout, co-founder and operations manager, announced plans for the three additional phases to be developed by 2024.
The former industrial site of White-Westinghouse, Pharis Tire and Rubber and Simpson Soap will house a 140,000 square meter facility with a café, a lounge, 22 loft apartments, a rooftop bar and a modern trading post with craftsmen and entrepreneurs, office space, Italian restaurant and possibly a city park along Raccoon Creek.
“I obviously invested a lot of money in this project,” said Alexander. “Adaptive reuse of such buildings is difficult. It has many inherent challenges. “
Alexander said the view of West Main Street crossing Raccoon Creek westward reminded him of Pittsburgh, where he was born. That piqued his interest in the property and its potential, but it took more to convince him to move on with the project.
“I started talking to the city about a vision for West Main Street,” said Alexander. “I didn’t feel that a project this size could be done without a bigger vision of Main Street. You know, something that provided focus.
“And then I started looking at the building and I thought art really has to be a part of it. We called it the Renaissance Arts District. We will work with a group of stakeholders to define exactly what that means. ”
Alexander said the art corridor already has many pieces from downtown to Newark Station, with Licking County Players, Heisey Glass and adjacent museums, the Licking County Library, the Old School Apartments, the Works, Courthouse Square and the Canal Market District.
“It’s pretty easy to throw around a hula hoop and define a district,” said Alexander. “Districts are really successful. We thought that was important. That there is a vision for this corridor.
“We were absolutely convinced that the art district is related to the values of the community, what it fits the community.”
Another piece of the puzzle was finding someone who had the expertise to perform the surgery. He found Stout, who was doing other warehouse conversions in Columbus.
“So I spoke to him,” said Alexander. “I think he was just blown away by the opportunity, the potential of the project.”
Stout said it didn’t take long to get on board, especially after touring the 122,000-square-foot building that was set back from West Main Street and just beyond the front gate.
“I got goosebumps to be honest,” said Stout. “There are many difficulties with adaptive re-use, but I’ve never seen a building that adapts so well to all of these different usage groups. We put an incredible amount of thought into the design and the intent of everyone. ”These different components, but to be honest, the building was really designed for these different types of use.
“We didn’t force anything. Already on the first day we could see how it can fit together naturally, and that was the component that moved me 100%. For me, I knew that it could be done immediately. “.”
The other large former factory building on the property, the former Pharis Tire building along West Main Street and near the creek, is being demolished, with the exception of the 10,000 square feet far west and the overhead connection to the main Newark Station building, the 122,000 square feet Foot of the former Westinghouse warehouse.
Alexander said it plans to launch Phase II of the project this fall, when Earthworks Coffee and Goods opens in the main building’s loading dock area at the same time The Yard closes for the season.
“We hope to bring the energy and momentum into the house,” said Alexander.
Earthworks Coffee will be a coffee shop, bakery, and lunch spot until 4:00 p.m. when it will move into a lounge area.
Although Newark Station is all about the arts, entertainment, food, and recreation, there will still be some people who go there for work.
Alexander estimates the venue will have approximately 75 direct employees who work in hospitality, banquet services, food preparation, event management, property management, rental and maintenance.
Stout said the project will attract people from outside the region, but that’s not the main focus.
“We don’t build anything that isn’t Newark,” said Stout. “We’re building something for Newark. We’re as thoughtful as possible when it comes to creating access points for everyone. This will be a goal and people who haven’t been to Newark will be here now for this project, but it’s more for the people who are here. There is already an incredible sense of pride in Newark. “
Twitter: @ kmallett1958
Newark Railway Station
The 325 W. Main St., Newark property comprises 10 acres from Raccoon Creek to 11th Street, with the exception of a cutout area along West Main Street and a cutout area along Jefferson Street.
Phase 1 The yard at Newark Station
An outdoor venue. Open on Friday evening. Includes four full-size lighted sand volleyball courts (with summer recreation and competitive leagues), cornhole, a live music venue, and an outdoor taco bar. It can host events such as graduation ceremonies, weddings. Upcoming events include July 4th, a summer arts and music festival, Oktoberfest and Memorial Day in 2022.
Opening times: Open every day, except Tuesday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m., Friday 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Clock.
Phase II Earthworks Coffee & Goods and The Loft Apartments.
Earthworks Coffee & Goods will offer coffee and mass-produced products that reflect a product-of-the-earth theme. At night it turns into an evening lounge with entertainment and activities, a full bar and cocktail service. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant with some outdoor seating and glass doors is slated to open in the fall.
The Loft Apartments will be 22 loft apartments available for rent in a renovated section of the old Westinghouse warehouse. They feature exposed bricks, large windows, and stainless steel appliances. Planned opening in spring. Register at newark-station.com.
Phase III The Lots at Newark Station and Lookout Taproom
The Lots pays homage to the history of the town-makers and seeks an ecosystem for today’s craftsmen and entrepreneurs and takes up much of Westinghouse’s 122,000-square-foot former warehouse. A modern trading post with 40,000 square meters of office space and artist studios. Planned opening in spring 2023. Register for the waiting list at newark-station.com.
The first floor caters to artists and a micro-retail environment where people can run their business with public interaction and open doors with access from the cafe. The second floor will be a more finished product for office space and co-working environments, including a printer, conference room and kitchenette. Also a 7,000 square meter event hall, which will be the centerpiece of the second floor, with natural light.
Lookout Taproom will use a 2,400 square meter machine room on the roof that is accessible via an elevator and a staircase. It will serve cold beer with a unique rooftop view of the city.
Phase IV The greenhouse
A 400-square-foot greenhouse built from salvaged glass from the demolished Pharis building and a restaurant that bears his name on Raccoon Creek, in a 9,000-square-foot former glass foundry. It offers fine dining and cocktails from an Italian-inspired menu of pasta, meatballs and wine, and offers kitchen and catering facilities for events at Newark Station. Planned opening in 2024.