The Bellevue Development Corporation is stepping up to the phrase — put your money where your mouth is.
BDC Executive Director Steven Fuhr said the economic development corporation purchased the building housing his office and the Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce from Steve Kemper nearly two years ago in the 100 block of West Main Street.
The building has three store fronts - 110, 112 and 114 W. Main Street and the first floor has between 3,600 and 3,800 square feet of office space.
First the BDC invested $50,000 in a new roof and repointing the historic brick building at the corner of Exchange Street and West Main. Then the renovation continued, he said.
“They are somewhere north of $160,000 in renovations here,” he reported this week.
Fuhr said members of the BDC believed that while they are promoting economic growth in the community, it was their job to step up and improve their own property.
“The board made a conscious decision,” he added, stating all the renovations are being done with BDC funds and there are no grant dollars involved in paying for the work.
“It’s going to be really sharp when it’s done,” he added.
While Fuhr and the chamber office will remain where they are currently located, the two other renovated units will be available for rent. Besides new windows, completely renovated interiors and handicap accessible restrooms, the new units also have all new windows and a handicap accessible entrance, he added.
The old suspended ceilings have been removed and the building’s historic tin ceilings have been revived.
Fuhr said the renovations must be completed this month as the new tenant takes over both of those new spaces on Dec. 1.
The business will be the Transformation Network Regional Resource Center.
For once, having the City of Bellevue located in four counties will pay off for the city, he said, noting it will be a four-county operation.
Fuhr said it made sense for the BDC to purchase the building and Kemper worked with the group. “He made us a generous offer on the building,” the economic development official commented.
Fuhr also pointed out that all the contract work on the BDC building were locally based, including York Carpet, Capitol Aluminum & Glass Corporation, a local painter and Janotta & Herner Design Build General Contractor.
“We’re trying to keep everything right in Bellevue,” Fuhr stressed.
While the BDC will not have time to hold an open house for all the upgrades, Fuhr said he believes the new tenant will hold an open house once moved in.