Another vacant Franklinton warehouse is finding new purpose with the addition of Chromedge Studios. Situated across the parking lot from a bustling 400 West Rich, the warehouse will add more artist studio space to the area.
The name pays homage to its original purpose as a part of the B&T Metals complex of manufacturing facilities. The building located at 289 W. Walnut St. or 446 W. Rich St. depending which door you go in, manufactured Chromedge – B&T’s line of countertop and cabinet trim. Built in 1944, the facility turned out products for nearly 40 years before closing in 1982. It has been vacant ever since.
The folks behind 400 West Rich always had plans to work on the building. The wheels first started turning in 2015, but hit a snag when major structural roof damage was discovered.
“Everything needed to be demolished upstairs,” says Project Manager Chris Sherman.
Fixing took some time, but with a sturdy roof overheard, renovation of the interior went full bore ahead about eight months ago. Nods to the original structure of the building are apparent through the ceiling structure and beams, and the bathrooms are in the original factory location but with an upgrade.
Artist studios occupy the 17,000 square feet of the first floor, ranging in size from 250 to 1,100 square feet. The studios will come online in two phases: a north phase and a south phase. The 14 studios of the north phase are up first, with some of the units featuring overhead garage doors. The south phase consists of a dozen smaller units in the 250 – 500 square foot range. The north phase is largely spoken for and is expected to welcome tenants in the next few weeks. The south phase still has a few vacancies and is slated for a late April to early May move in.
The second floor is being constructed as a large, single-tenant user space. Windows on the north, south and west sides frame 2,500 square feet of open space that Sherman says would be ideal for an architecture firm, design firm or group of artists. The second floor will present a more finished space versus the warehouse feel of the first floor.
Sherman has seen a strong interest for studio space in Franklinton.
At 400 West Rich, “We have such a demand for studios there and we’ve had a waiting list,” he says. Not only will Chromedge help curb that list, but, “I think it will be a great addition to the neighborhood,” Sherman adds.
He’s been staring at the building for 14 years and is excited to see new life breathed into it. Chromedge joins a hub of revitalization in Franklinton that includes 400 West Rich, Land Grant Brewing, Rehab Tavern, the Columbus Idea Foundry, Glass Axis and more, all within a few block radius.