West Bottoms Flats, the first big foray by a developer into renovating the district’s massive, old warehouses into housing, is holding a party this evening to get more people acquainted with the neighborhood.
“We are hoping that this event will help bring more people over to the north side of the bottoms and get them more comfortable and aware with where we are who we are,” said Josie Buford, leasing specialist.
The 273-unit first phase of the redevelopment being done by the MCM Co. of Cleveland opened last June and is about 42 percent occupied. The developer already is planning a $24 million second phase with 90 more apartments.
But it’s still a pioneering endeavor in a part of the city that many people either associate with the old Livestock Exchange Building, the Hy-Vee Arena (formerly Kemper), art studios or antique dealers on weekends.
MCM invested $65 million renovating three historic buildings on the north side of the West Bottoms: the Abernathy, 1501 W. Ninth St.; the Liberty, 912 Liberty, and the Wyoming, 925 Wyoming. The Bemis building at 937 Wyoming was converted to a 201-space garage.
The event at the West Bottoms Flats courtyard will include live music by Kat King and the Betty Rae’s Ice Cream truck. Yard games are planned and Lazio Collections, an online boutique, will have a pop-up store.
Three of the live-work tenants at the Flats also will have open houses for their businesses: Holden’s Hollow book shop, Wayne Studio West handcrafted furniture and art, and Silver Linings, a DIY thrift flip shop.
There also will be tours of the apartments. Monthly rents for studios range from $840- to $975; one-bedrooms from $1,050- to $1,300, and two-bedrooms from $1,250- to $1,800.
The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. People will be allowed to bring their own beer and wine. Organizers are seeking a liquor license to be able to offer alcoholic beverages at future events.
Buford said it will hopefully be held every other week, depending on how well received it becomes. The hosts also would like to encourage more local shops to open pop-ups and add more food trucks to the mix.
“We are looking forward to working with local shops coming by to do a pop-up and restaurants and really want to focus on supporting small and local businesses and make this a neighborhood event,” she said.
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