How Bout a New Coworking Space in South Kensington? Friday, September 26, 2014
The original site of the Salvation Army was at 4th & Oxford in South Kensington, and as of this year new owners are looking for tenants for the building, constructed in 1869, to become another part of the changing neighborhood, where old mills are new lofts, and the building is a plenty, like the oil once ran.
Developer Bob Metry had his eyes on the building for years. He knew the neighborhood was in the midst of a fast tide of redevelopment, and old buildings were getting picked up fast, with big plans for conversions. Nearby, where Oxford St. hits the El, the Oxford Mills project to convert a former dye works to 114 apartments and offices seems like a smashing success. Earlier this year, Metry approached the Salvation Army with his RJM Property Group. He knew the building was no longer in use and shortly after, RJM acquired the property.
Located in the American Street Empowerment Zone, which provides numerous grants to businesses, non-profits and developers, Metry thinks the building lends itself to any number of different businesses. It includes 7,000 sqft of floor space on two distinct floors, an 1,800 sqft performance space with a stage, as well as a full kitchen and hood. Zoned for commercial use, the building offers numerous possibilities from sit-down restaurant to office space, radio or television, or music studios. So far, Metry has spoken with a handful of interested tenants, like different co-working groups, including Indy Hall, a microbrewery interested in having a brewery and gastropub, as well as a daycare.
“It's really at a special intersection between the changing landscape of the industrial neighborhood,” Metry said about the building, and the changing character in nearby Northern Liberties from industrial to largely residential, with lots of businesses too.
And with plans for more than 500 units in the form of two separate projects, the SoKo Lofts, a few blocks south at 2nd & Thompson, and Liberty Square, at 2nd & Girard, and more building all the time, around here, it makes sense how this mixed-use building at 350 W Oxford St. could fit right into the scheme.