Developer previews plans to rehab former Main Street Gallery
There was an air of optimism and rejuvenation at a preview for commercial realtors and others of plans to rehab the long-neglected former Main Street Gallery furniture store property at 187-191 Main St. Emmaus.
CREW Lehigh Valley (Commercial Real Estate Women) members and others got to look at rehabilitation drawings and heard developer David Halliday outline plans to convert the former furniture store into office suites, with a possible restaurant or other retail space on the first floor of the property. Halliday is a partner with Village Centre Properties, of Perkasie, which specializes in rehabilitating distressed downtown properties.
Development will be aided by an already-secured $500,000 redevelopment grant to the Emmaus Main Street Partners from the State of Pennsylvania.
Halliday said his firm really likes to "work on projects which are part of a Main Street Partners program, because we know they already have a support base among business, borough officials and the community.
"Main Street Partners programs have been hugely important to our success to our other properties in Blooming Glen, Pipersville and Souderton," Halliday said.
While Halliday's firm has worked rehabilitating properties that are listed as National Register of Historic Buildings, the former furniture store did not qualify for a historical buildings designation, "but finding that Emmaus Main Street Partners had already been granted state redevelopment funds really made this project a 'go' for us," Halliday said.
The property dates back to the mid-1800s, about the same time as the Emmaus Borough was incorporated.
Work has already begun on the interior of the building and is expected to be finished in the fall.
"We have found that entrepreneurs who have been working out of their homes, or growing too big for the garage or other temporary facilities are drawn to the kind of office suites we will be developing. "They are already enjoying some success and are ready to take the next step," he said.