Now that leaders with CraftWorks, The Lupton Co., and Kinsey Probasco Hays have announced their move to 201 West Main Street – the question remains. What other companies will move into the 107-year-old Southside warehouse?
“We feel very good about getting the building filled,” Jon Kinsey said.
CraftWorks, which operates Big River Grille, will be on the third floor of the 70,000-sqaure-foot building and the other offices will be on the second floor.
That leaves about 5,000 square-feet available on the second floor and an open first floor, Kinsey, one of the owners and developers, said.
The developers are working to find a first-floor tenant, but Kinsey said it would be “premature” to discuss the possibilities.
CraftsWorks spokeswoman Kelly Wilson said she could not confirm talk that one of CraftWorks’ brand restaurants, such as Old Chicago, would fill the lower level.
Crews are working on renovations, which carry a price tag of up to $11 million and CraftWorks should be operating from their new location by the second quarter next year, Wilson said.
The CraftWorks building will complement the Southside area, featuring brick interior walls with high wooden ceilings and prominent, solid structural elements with an urban feel, she said.
The company has recently grown from about 40 employees to about 115 and will be adding about 40 more, Wilson also said.
“Our company is made up of young, vibrant professionals,” she said.
The Lupton Co. and KPH bring about 20 employees to the new building, Kinsey said.
In recent years, new businesses have migrated to the Southside and companies and organizations such as River City Company, KPH and The Lupton Company and The Lyndhurst Foundation have helped revitalize the area.
Kinsey said that renovating the old warehouse will help keep the area’s charm, while continuing to revive the Southside.
“That building has really acted as a barrier for the continued development of the Main Street area,” Kinsey said. “If you change it from a barrier to a magnet, it will make a tremendous difference in the overall feel of the area.”
Joan Marie Worsham, one of the owners of Main Street restaurant Blue Grass Grille, said she and her husband, Jonas, looked in other locations, such as Hixson Pike, Broad Street and St. Elmo.
Goal is for construction to be finished by February/March
Kinsey Probasco Hays
The focus on “community” in the Southside was important to the couple, Worsham said.
“We want our children to have the experience of regular customers, folks who watch them grow and who express interest in them as an extended family,” she said.
Worsham, who has owned three other restaurants in other areas, said she hopes that additional businesses that move to the area contribute to the community feeling of the Southside and bring people who are invested in their work.
Although, leaders can’t say yet what other businesses will join the migration to the Southside, they are optimistic about the potential.
“The Main Street area has tremendous entertainment options, residential options and employment options,” Kinsey said.