Developer Rocco Termini has begun the process of building out 27 and 37 Chandler Street buildings. Starting with 27 Chandler Street, six of the commercial kitchens have already been leased for the “Food E” concept (see history). The building will be dedicated to people who want to lease out commercial kitchen incubator spaces complete with hoods, walk in coolers, and everything else to meet the FDA standards. The concept will open sometime in August of 2019.
As for 37 Chandler Street, Flat #12 Mushrooms (see here) will be relocating to the first floor of the building, where it will occupy 5000 square feet of space (the entire floor). The additional space will allow the mushroom grower to expand upon product lines, including, for example, providing chopped mushrooms for vegan burgers. Termini says that they are still in the process of determining what will happen with the upper floors of 37 Chandler, but that work is underway to restore the building. Flat #12 Mushrooms is also on schedule to open in August of 2019.
Termini has also said that a small restaurant, operated by a high profile local chef, is also slated to open in one of the buildings, but he did not say which one.
Interestingly enough, Termini told me that the government shutdown has finally begun to impact his business. His tax credit approvals from the National Parks Service (NPS) have been delayed, and the banks won’t close on the financing until the approvals are in place.
“All tax credit applications go to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) first and they do a thorough review and vetting to identify any potential issues before it goes to NPS,” said local preservation expert Mike Puma, who is with Preservation Studios. “They try to work collaboratively with developers to come to a good middle ground for the tough issues so that by the time the application gets to NPS, the review, in theory, is easier for them to get on board with. SHPO is on the front lines and does a lot of the legwork so projects can be successful by the time they get to the NPS. For tax credit applications, SHPO can only make recommendations, NPS has the power to give approvals.
“Frankly, I wish the SHPO had that power too, since they’re more pragmatic, actually make site visits, AND it would make sure things don’t stall out in a Federal shutdown. I’ve always thought that the SHPO should be deputized and authorized to make approvals in the event of a Federal shutdown.
“In the event of a Federal shutdown, SHPO operates as normal, but every application that’s ready to go out the door has to sit in a pile until the government reopens. The government shutdown does in fact stall development and it overburdens the NPS once things start back up since they’re understaffed already. They need more dedicated staff and funding and are not getting the support they deserve.”
Termini also said that Thin Man Brewery‘s new beer names are not being approved, because that process is run through the Federal Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco. “People have no idea how much this government shutdown is hurting everyone,” said Termini.
Despite the shutdown, Termini is still working his magic, by bootstrapping the projects and working on elements that involve as few federal government affairs as possible.