Last fall I took possession of the building at 185 Fort Wayne Avenue here in Richmond. It's a cool old space with a lot of history behind it - folks named Nye, Ezra and Starr had a place that made stoves and tinware there in the 1860s, and since then it's been used for tin/iron/slate production, residence for the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, a warehouse, shoe repair, furniture retail, and more. There's a great apartment upstairs there now, which I've mentioned before, but the real fun is thinking about what's going to happen in the space downstairs.
It's been a bit of an adventure navigating the process of release forms, permits and construction planning (not to mention the fact that apparently all of this costs money - who knew?!), and that continues for a bit longer. But today it was great fun to see some outward signs of progress, as the storefront got a bright new coat of paint - thanks to the Richmond Urban Enterprise Association for helping make that possible. Apparently as Rick from Prosource Construction and his crew worked away on it this weekend, the transition from a dull and chipping old blue to a bright and energetic new blue brought lots of comments; I had fun this morning watching people drive slowly past, pointing and the work-in-progress, craning their necks, wondering what will be going in there. Yes, we're a town that likes the possibilities that come with our building facades.
We've got lots of dreams for "the building." If you'd like to be a part of the conversation about what use of the space would best serve the community, I hope you'll get in touch.