VOL. 125 | NO. 77 | Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thompson & Co. Plans to Fill Vacant Smooth Moves Space
By Andy Meek
A Center City Commission-affiliated board on Wednesday approved almost $270,000 in financial incentives to support developing new businesses, jobs and service providers Downtown.
That money will finance a wide range of activity, from South Main Street to the Downtown core. The new business activity includes the renovation of a long-vacant storefront at the intersection of Main Street and Union Avenue as well as the move of a new tenant into that space.
The Thompson & Co. advertising agency is planning to sign a 12-year lease to occupy about 10,400 square feet of the space at 85 Union Ave. The agency’s current lease at 50 Peabody Place expires in December.
Founder Michael Thompson said the agency considered moving east. But he told the Center City Development Corp. he’d rather stay Downtown if possible.
“And to me, this is an extremely important intersection,” Thompson said of Main and Union, where all four corners have been vacant for more than a year.
The CCDC approved a $15,000 office grant for Thompson’s agency to make improvements to the space.
The CCDC also approved a $200,000 loan for the development team renovating the space that will house Thompson’s agency. They’re turning the old Smooth Moves building into a retail and office development.
That $1.6 million renovation is scheduled to start in May and finish around October.
“It’s been an eyesore for years,” said developer Tom Marsh. “We’re completely transforming the look of the building, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to make it usable.”
Also Wednesday morning, the CCDC approved a $7,500 office grant for Powers Hill Design, a civil engineering design firm that plans to sign a five-year lease for 1,800 square feet of office space in Brinkley Plaza.
Like Thompson, firm partner Nisha Powers said she considered sites east.
“But I love Downtown. I love the energy,” she said. “It’s just a different experience, and I want that for my employees.”
Sache Design, a designer clothing store, was awarded $47,350 in development incentives.
Of that total, $40,000 was a retail forgivable loan from the CCDC. The remaining $7,350 was a façade improvement grant.
Sache Design plans to sign a five-year lease for 1,747 square feet of space at 525 S. Main. It will sell products at prices ranging from $17 to $80.