Tenants have begun moving into their respective apartments as the $7.4 million restoration of the Wellman Building is finally complete.
The completion of the Wellman Building is a significant achievement for Jamestown, as it marks the first set of market-rate apartments available downtown for the public to rent.
With the exception of a parking structure, the building is designed to include everything that tenants could need, including laundry, fitness and community gathering rooms.
The Wellman Building, vacant since 1985, had several rooms looking like what is seen in this photo. But $7.4 million in renovations has brought about 44 market-rate apartments.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
The apartments themselves vary in size, starting with a handful of efficiency-sized studios and moving up into one- and two-bedroom apartments. In total, the building will house 44 separate apartments which will be able to accommodate 75 to 85 residents.
"Every unit in some way is different, be it square footage and also layout," said Joe Jacobi, property manager from Ontario Specialty Contracting Inc.
"There are multiple views available from the different apartments because of all the sides and height of the building," Jacobi continued. "Subsequently, the rents on all the units are unique to the square footage and (the unit's) location in the building."
"Every unit in some way is different."
What separates the Wellman Building from ordinary market-rate apartments is that tedious and methodic measures have been taken to preserve the look and design of the building from when it functioned as private law offices.
Original hardwood floors, glass, office doors, woodwork, windows, stairwells, tile and tin ceiling fixtures have been preserved and serve as an aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition to the sleek modern kitchens, bathrooms and layouts the apartments have to offer.
Additionally, a state-of-the-art security system has been installed in the building, incorporating closed-circuit cameras throughout the first floor, entrances, elevators, fitness and laundry rooms. All entrances to the building have been equipped with a buzzer system which allows tenants to remotely allow access to the building to visitors without ever having to leave their apartment.
The apartments are a welcomed addition to the building, which has sat vacant since 1985. In addition to the apartments, the first floor of the building was designed to house offices for employees of the Gebbie Foundation, who began moving into the Wellman Building in early June.
According to Jacobi, there is still room on the first floor, where Jake's Uptown Grille used to be housed, for a business of some type to move in. Jacobi said that though the deal is not yet complete, he has received a great deal of interest from Subway Restaurants about installing one of their sub shops in the available space.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," said Jacobi. "Obviously, the restaurant would be open to the public through the entrance on Third Street, however residents of the Wellman Building would have access to it as well without having to leave the building. It would certainly be a welcomed addition to everything we've done so far."
Additionally, there is also room in the basement for a business of some type to move in. Jacobi said he's seen interest from an antique shop and a coffee shop regarding the space, however nothing solid has developed yet. He believes that as the building fills up with tenants, more interest in the available space will likely come about.
Though tenants have already begun moving in, there are still many one and two bedroom apartments available, as well as select studio style apartments. The official hard opening for the building will take place Wednesday, July 18 from 1 to 4 p.m., with the official ribbon-cutting taking place at 2 p.m.
Anyone who might be interested in renting a space in the Wellman Building is encouraged to attend, as fully furnished, model apartments will be available to view to help give potential tenants an idea of the potential the apartments have.
To make an appointment or tour the apartments, contact Jason Stronz at 338-9809. For more information about the project, visit www.wellmanbuilding.com.