LIMA — Some may say it’s a pipe dream, to develop some dilapidated buildings in the 200 block of South Central Avenue in Lima. But those with a vision of what could be — kicked off what they called a pre-groundbreaking event Saturday night for The Central District.
The evening featured live music from local talent, a food truck and a chance to find out more about the project.
“This is the part after the pipe dream,” said Dennis Richardson, Central District Corridor committee member. “So after the dream and the vision has been created, now this is the fruit of that labor putting everything together and getting the right pieces, the right people together and the right like-minded people to get this type of project together and get it going.”
The Central District stretches along South Central Avenue from East Spring Street to East Elm Street.
Earlier this summer windows were installed at the UniCent building, creating an open space with plenty of potential.
“It will consist of the 201 Building. We’ll have retail space and then modern contemporary apartments on the upper floor and then what you see here that is not under construction yet is the outdoor corridor,” said Lisa Ashafa, communications director for The Central District Corridor. “The outdoor corridor is a social spot for people to come and gather and just get their innovative juices flowing.”
The $5 million project is scheduled to be finished sometime next year.
“It’s going to be a tech space. It’s going to have 3-D printers in the maker space. They’ll have space over there for woodworking, metal fabrication. We’ll have two industrial kitchens in there so people that have food trucks that need places to come and prepare this stuff can come and utilize the facilities. Startup businesses can come and rent space to get their business up and going. It’ll have conference rooms, a green screen room,” Richardson said.
Frank Cage has his own marketing business, Cage Design Studios, and plans to lease out space in the building.
“To be in a space where some of the technology is going to be here in the city, I’m excited about that. I mentor several young men who are interested in the field of graphic design so to be able to continue some of those things that I’m doing but actually have a space here in the city to do it, it’s quite exciting for me,” Cage said.
Reach Sam Shriver, reporter, at 567-242-0409.