Central Avenue storefronts set to get facelifts

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March 27, 2013
By: Ben Johnson
An illustration of the new storefronts planned for 2504/06 Central Avenue.
Ben Johnson

At the Northeast Investment Cooperative's (NEIC) first annual meeting on March 21, architectural renderings were unveiled depicting proposed changes to the exterior of 2504/06 Central Avenue. 

The renderings, done by McMonigal Architects, show a more modern facade using brick, metal and glass to showcase Recovery Bike Shop and two yet-to-be-determined tenants. When the NEIC first bought the building, the former furniture shop had a chipped, faded yellow exterior that many considered an eyesore in the community.

The NEIC currently has 117 members that have pledged $140,000 in investment, and they have another $20,000 pledged in the coming months. Their goal is to reach 300 members and $370,000 in investment by the end of May, which would be enough to close on the building and make the necessary improvements for tenants to move in.

“It feels like we're really close, and to get as far as we have in a year is pretty amazing, I think,” said Chris Bobser, a NEIC board member.

The NEIC was formed to clean up dilapidated commercial storefronts in Northeast through local investment. Membership requires a $1,000 investment and there is a nine-person board that oversees the cooperative's decisions.

The building at 2504/06 Central Ave. became their first project when a purchase agreement was signed on December 13. Recovery Bikes, which currently rents space at the Eastside Food Cooperative, is partnering with the NEIC on the purchase and will occupy half of the building.

The NEIC will be hosting an information session for prospective members on April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Eastside Food Co-op. Also, board members will be available for informal chats Mondays starting at 10 a.m. at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe and Thursdays at 7 p.m. at The Coffee Shop NE.