By Kevin Collison
A former dairy plant near Linwood and Gillham is slated to be redeveloped as 48 lofts and a fresh food market by Exact Partners, the latest investment in a burgeoning redevelopment corridor along 31st street from Main to Troost.
Exact, which also is redeveloping several buildings at nearby Martini Corner and recently renovated the historic Acme building at 3200 Gillham Rd., wants to continue the momentum with its planned $12 million 3100 Aines Dairy Lofts project.
“We want to do a lot of walkable, urban infill,” said Caleb Buland, a parter at Exact.
“We’re putting together a walkability plan for 31st street to create a safe environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
Exact also renovated the former Wonder Bread bakery building at 30th and Troost, about six blocks away, into the Wonder Shops + Flats development, and is renovating a former office building at 31st and Main as healthcare offices.
The proposed 3100 Aines Dairy Lofts project would renovate the 50,000 square-foot building into a mix of four, 525 square-foot studio; 29, 650 square-foot one-bedroom, and 16, 960 square-foot two-bedroom units.
The ground level calls for 10,000 square feet of retail. Buland said his firm would like to locate a fresh food market there as part of the redevelopment plan.
“This is a great spot that connects Union Hill and the Acme building,” he said.
The former dairy plant at 3110-30 Gillham Rd. opened in 1946 and at one time produced 100,000 gallons of milk products daily. It later became a meat production facility for the Winsted restaurant chain before closing, Buland said.
The building is located just south of the El Torreon ballroom building and across Gillham Road from several antique shops and Brewer’s Kitchen.
Buland added his firm has approached the Bridgeport Church, owner of El Torreon, about a potential partnership to redevelop the upper floor of the old ballroom building for concerts and events.
The El Torreon has had a colorful history as a performance venue including the Cowtown Ballroom in the 1970s.
In addition to the Exact Partners investments along 31st street, developer Gary Hassenflu is pursuing a plan to raze the old Velvet Freeze at the northeast corner of 31st and Gillham Road into a $32 million apartment project.
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