Work on the commercial space of 429 Rhode Island has commenced. It was not long ago that the upper floor was built out for a pilates/art studio (more on that soon). Now the first floor is getting a similar treatment. Building owner Frits Abell says that he has landed a café for the space, though he is keeping the name of the new business close to the vest at this time. But the good news is that this super unusual building that intersects the Five Points corner, will soon be back to 100% operational. Today, the storefront is getting its finishing touches, including a new door.
“This was a three year project,” Frits told me. “Total rebuilding of the building’s foundation, which also entailed lifting the building off the ground (by about six inches). Many people, who are far less preservation-minded, would have just torn the building down. This project may have cured me from wanting to dabble in any more real estate projects [laughing]. Upstairs floors are Pilates Art Studio. The city has promised to redo the sidewalks and curbs, something that is direly needed.”
This is another big win for the West Side. For years people have been looking at this building as a crucial piece of the neighborhood revival puzzle. Next, the retail tenant will be building out their space, and predict to be open by May.