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New Coffee Shop and Event Space Planned for East Franklinton

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega New Coffee Shop and Event Space Planned for East FranklintonRendering by Tim Lai Architect.
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Urban Smart Growth (USG), the company behind the 400 West Rich property, are bringing several new developments to their growing block in East Franklinton. A new event center at 435 W. Town St., a coffee shop at 442 W. Rich St., and an expanded Strongwater Food & Spirits kitchen space will all be revealed by 2020.

Rich Coffee (a placeholder name for the upcoming coffee shop) will take over an 1,100 square foot brick house just west of 400 W. Rich. The space will be sectioned off into three seating areas, with patios in the front and back and a dining room inside.

While the current building has a second floor, it’s more like a loft and has a six-and-a-half foot ceiling. The whole floor will be removed during construction to create a vaulted ceiling for the first floor.

Along with coffee, Rich Coffee will offer entrées, sandwiches and sides prepared and packaged to-go in the Strongwater kitchen.

In a neighborhood attracting an ever-growing population of neighborhood outsiders, Rich Coffee is imagined as a place for the locals, says Chris Sherman, VP of Development at USG.

“I think it’d be a pretty unique place that would probably most likely directly service the local community.” he says. “With all the rooftops coming in and all the other activity going on, I just think it’s a great opportunity to serve a more local base.”

The opening of “Rich Coffee” coincides well with USG’s desire to grow Strongwater’s catering capacity. The kitchen there will be 5,500 square feet, enabling the business to expand its in-house catering, serve the coffee house, and potentially tap into the retail food market.

Both of these projects are expected to take off this fall, with completion set for late spring or summer of 2019.

The biggest project, an event space at 435 W. Town St., likely won’t be revealed until 2020. The building is the remains of the old B & T Metals facility. Essentially one large (7,000 square feet), open room, it’ll take on the “design, aesthetic and theme that we have at Strongwater, which is an industrial, raw kind of space,” Sherman says.

It’s basically an extension of Strongwater, what’s become a popular place for community and corporate events. With the limited space Strongwater has, they’ve had to turn a lot of larger events away, which Sherman says was just bad for business. This larger building, featuring an open concept with sawtooth skylights, steel beams, and exposed brick offers a “dramatic space” that he sees hosting a myriad of events, including weddings, pop-up flea markets and community gatherings.

A name for the project has yet to be found, says Sherman, but they’ve been fondly calling it “the Hulk” for years, “due to its resilience to time and neglect.” Ultimately, they’d like to draw inspiration from the building’s manufacturing past.

Work on the event space is scheduled to commence in the spring of 2019, with a completion date expected in 2020.

For more information, visit urbansmartgrowthllc.com

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