LIMA — If you build it, will they come? That’s the hope of developers of the Metro Center at 127 N. Elizabeth St. in Lima. It’s the former Metropolitan Bank Building, built between 1922 and 1934.
The project will have 34 upscale loft-style apartments as well as space for eight to 10 retail businesses on the first floor.
On Sunday, there was an open house for people to get an idea of what the lofts would look like.
“We have probably 20% of the apartments already leased for three-year leases,” said William Walter, senior partner with Pursuit III Inc., the business entity that’s developing the property.
Rents for the single lofts will range from $1,000 to $1,500 a month.
“The doubles will run in the $2,200 to $2,500 a month range. These prices are not fixed but it gives you an idea of where we are,” said Walter.
Downtown development is moving into high gear, with several restaurants already there, Rhodes State College will be expanding downtown and the Rotary Pavilion will also be built. There’s more activities for people to do downtown.
“We think we can answer the need for, as we see it, a growing public that’s looking for downtown living,” said Walter.
This project is a cornerstone of continued downtown economic development.
“I see this as being a catalyst for more investment for other projects that could revitalize the downtown Lima area,” said Dave Stratton, president of Allen Economic Development Group.
Stratton is pleased that the Metro Center project is saving another Lima building.
“We love historic buildings. We love to see more of them, whether it’s investment money put into the buildings for future reference, looking at not only expansion but when you consider the opportunities that will help in respect to other investment into downtown Lima in the multiplier effect, what’s going to take place for other investment with boutiques, restaurants other areas of quality of living that Lima needs for the downtown living area,” said Stratton.
Tenants should be able to move into the Metro Center by the middle of next year.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.