A new creative workspace is in the process of coming to the Franklinton neighborhood, located just west of downtown Columbus.
400 West Rich Street is both the name and the address of this 100,000-square-foot warehouse currently being renovated for artist studios, workshops, and manufacturing space.
“We offer space for lease in a format similar to Junctionview Studios,” says Project Manager Chris Sherman. “Our building has some nice amenities, including several 1000-amp service points, lots of overhead doors and cranes, plus other industrial features.”
The ideal tenant for 400 West Rich ranges from individual artists and creative consultants to small business operations requiring larger subdivided spaces.
“I would love to get some creative larger scale tenants in the building,” Sherman says. “We are starting the project out small and letting it grow organically over time. This building has grown that way over the past 100 years and it will continue that way into the future.”
Entrepreneurs and creatives are encouraged to reach out sooner rather than later if interested in touring the building and reserving space.
“We’ll be carving out space as needed,” explains Sherman. “Right now, we offer an opportunity for the tenants to help facilitate the growth of this project and shape its direction.”
The history of the 400 West Rich Street project dates back nearly two years ago, to the summer of 2009, when Chris Sherman first discussed the potential of the building with owner and Los Angles-based developer Lance Robbins.
“I approached Lance about managing the building and instantly fell in love with the place,” Sherman says. “I thought it would be perfect for studios or shop space, and after many meetings and brainstorming we came up with a concept and began our process.”
To date, the majority of the building’s historical warehouse elements remain, giving it a very open and industrial feel.
“People love to explore the space,” Sherman says. “There’s so many different environments within the building. The second floor is almost 40 percent sawtooth skylights, and the courtyard and parking lot are a great bonus. The elevated rail tracks next door add a very urban industrial vibe.”
Chris Sherman is committed to the success of this project for both professional and personal reasons— he’s been a Franklinton resident since 2004, residing in a nearby live/work space of his own creation.
“When I was ready to buy a house, Franklinton was an affordable option and fit my needs perfectly,” Sherman says. “I was also one of the founding members of the Franklinton Arts District and sat on the Franklinton Area Commission for a small period of time.”
As a whole, the Franklinton neighborhood still has plenty of challenges in becoming a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. Sherman is aware of those issues, but remains optimistic.
“East Franklinton is a pretty vacant neighborhood,” he explains.”There’s not a lot of housing and plenty of vacant buildings and lots. It’s great for new development, but in this economy that can be tough.”
The overall perception of the neighborhood is getting better every day, but still needs improvement, he adds.
400 West Rich Street currently is accepting tenant applications, although the project is not quite ready for an “open house” debut.
“A lot of the building still needs to be emptied and cleaned, and a few leaks need patched,” Sherman says. “It’s getting there and I think that adds to its character.”
Additional information on this development can be found on the ColumbusUnderground.com article “400 West Rich Street Brings Art Studios to Franklinton“. Those interested in renting space at 400 West Rich Street can contact Chris Sherman at [email protected].
More information about 400 West Rich can be found online at 400WestRich.com.
All photography by Adam Slane.