Since our last post, we’ve been busy pulling down walls, ripping up old carpet, and filling dumpsters. Working with our architect, we’ve also finalized our plans for Landline, which you can see here.
Initially, we’d only planned on having seven offices, and reserving about 1,000 square feet on second floor for an apartment, which we could one day convert to a rental, allowing us to experiment with residencies and the like. Given the number of inquiries we were getting from creative professionals looking for high quality, affordable, downtown space in Ypsilanti, though, we decided to change direction a bit and build offices across the entire floor.
Above, you’ll see how we currently envision things. There will be ten individual offices, a large shared conference room, an open reception area, three bathrooms, and a small elevator, which we were able to afford once we decided not to pursue the apartment. [The bathrooms are indicated in green. The elevator is indicated in yellow.]
So, after a few months of tearing things apart and cleaning things up, which culminated in three days of dry ice blasting that left our 1926 rafters and joists looking like new, we’re heading into the next phase of the project. The building, over the past several days, has been full of architects, electricians, historic preservationists, carpenters and plumbers, climbing through our rafters, following pipes and wires through our walls, and finalizing their plans, so they’re ready to go once we get our permits back from the Ypsilanti Building Department. And, in the meantime, with the blessing of the Historic District Commission, we’ve just started on the renovation of our 90 year old windows, which are being taken away to Clio, Michigan a few at a time to be repaired by a graduate of the Eastern Michigan University Historic Preservation program.
There’s still a ton that needs to be done, and, given our budget, it’ll be tight, but we’re confident that we can pull it off.
Stay tuned for more timely updates over the coming weeks, as plumbers, electricians and carpenters begin their work, and Landline Creative Labs starts taking shape.
Hello. Today is our first day talking publicly about Landline Creative Labs and our plans to redevelop 209 Pearl Street in downtown Ypsilanti. If we’d had it our way, we would have waited until the entire deal was done before going public, but, given that we have to announce our plans before Ypsilanti City Council this evening, the cat is pretty much out of the bag… So, if you’ve seen the two of us conspiring over beers these past several months at various local watering holes, and wondered what we were up to, now you know.
When we say that we would rather have waited until the deal was done before going public, we mean that we still don’t technically own the property, or, for that matter, have the bank loan that we’ll need to turn our dream into a reality. What we do have, though, is a signed purchase agreement with the building’s current owner, a term sheet from the bank, and a bunch of architectural plans, which, as far as the City is concerned, is enough to get the various approvals underway.
Over time, I’m sure we’ll get into a lot of detail here as to what we have in mind for Landline, the companies that will be joining us, etc. For now, though, we just want to say that we’re thankful to have finally gotten this far. After investing nearly a year and a half of our lives, exploring numerous buildings around Ypsilanti, and getting close to making offers on a few only to have things fall apart on us, it feels good to finally see things coming together around a building that we love, and a plan that we’re incredibly enthusiastic about.
It’s going to be a ton of work, but we’re both up for the challenge, and it feels good to actually be investing in this city that we’ve called home for so long.
-Mark and Jesse