EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - 425 Main Street has been home to several businesses over the last century, and developers hope it will soon be home to a few more.
The building has been home to a shoe store, a hat store, and even a law firm at one time. It was recently acquired by downtown businessman Jim Back who sees even more retail potential in the location.
425 Main Street dates back to the late 1800′s where it was originally home to a pawn shop. Downtown Evansville President Josh Armstrong says it housed several businesses over the next century and underwent many structural changes.
“In the 1950′s, it had a new facade put on that kind of took away its connection to the street. That was a really, sort of, fashionable way for downtowns to update themselves during that time,” said Armstrong.
425 Main is now in the hands of Jim Back, who has it well under construction. By March, it will be ready to house 1,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and more than 6,000 square feet of modern office space throughout the rest of the building.
“A mani-pedi salon, or a hairdresser or an ice cream shop, or a florist. Those kinds of people that add vibrancy to downtowns that creates sort of a different texture within the downtown," Armstrong said. “It’s the right kind of space for those types of businesses.”
This project is ongoing with the hopes of adding to the ever-growing downtown area.
Just across the street, the large 420 Main tower will soon be renovated. Armstrong says it is the surrounding smaller projects that really bring the large ones together.
“Development, whether that’s a small shop or whether that is an existing building choosing to freshen their exterior," he said. “We make these big investments. Companies do, communities do. The flip side is, we need to see all of the other pieces come in behind it, and it is really exciting to see that happen here."
Armstrong and Back tell us they hope to have this place ready for possible tenants to move in by March.