IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — It’s on the corner of 3rd Street and Vernon Street, right in the heart of downtown Ironton.
The Brumberg building has been many things in its time; a cigar factory, a department store, and a flooring store, but it has sat empty for nearly 20 years. Now, plans are in the works to renovate it.
“The first thing is the infrastructure, the roof on the building and the windows [need to be addressed],” said Ralph Kline, assistant executive director for the CAO. “As you can see there’s no windows. I mean, the structure itself is key.”
The CAO, has secured a $200,000 dollar target-opportunity grant, a $250,000 dollar Appalachian Regional Committee grant, and private investment from the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation get this project underway.
The plan is to put a restaurant on the first floor of the building by June of 2020 and build condominiums above to attract people to live in the heart of downtown Ironton. The first phase of the plan, which involves replacing windows, bricks, and an elevator will cost around $850,000 dollars according to Kline.
“This building is part of Ironton’s skyline,” said Joe Unger, an Ironton resident and owner of Unger’s Shoe Store. “Downtown revitalization depends on residents living in the downtown. They live downtown, that means they shop downtown, they dine downtown, they purchase groceries downtown.”
Kline says having a residential area in downtown Ironton is critical to the city’s future, and adds the condominiums actually attract two specific age groups.
“We’re seeing an interest among some of our younger folks who are not necessarily wanting the big suburban living, but there’s also a demand for some of our more senior folks who are trying to downsize,” said Kline.
Making this project the springboard for bringing people back to the metropolitan district of the once thriving pig iron town.
CAO Officials say they intend to begin the roof and window replacements in the next 2 months.
As for the condos, plans suggest there will be 15 of them. They’ll be 1400 to 1600 sq. ft., according to Kline, and will have 2 or more bedrooms per condominium unit.
Construction on the condos will come at least a year after the restaurant opens up with a starting price tag of around $185,000 thousand dollars.