The Community Ventures Corporation is in the process of renovating a commercial building on Second Street into an 8,000 square foot small business incubator. Work has apparently been going on for about six months and involves a complete interior overhaul and a new brick facade covering the 1960s or 1970s era building.
Here’s a bit of information from the CVC website:
Founded in 1982, Community Ventures Corporation (CVC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that exists to improve the quality of life for urban and rural residents throughout central and northern Kentucky. CVC’s central mission is to provide individuals and families with the skills, income, and assets, they need to achieve financial independence. CVC helps people increase income and build assets with three main strategies: small business ownership, home ownership, and job creation through business expansion.
The organization already operates two small business incubators in Lexington. The old facade (seen below) comprised of skinny “Roman bricks” is underneath the new brick and doors to individual office suites (we presume) have been added to the once blank, jagged half of the building. The new doors are very white right now, but we hope they might get a coat of paint at some point down the road. The building permit lists the construction costs at around $450,000. It’s good to see another existing building elevated to a greater use in SoBro.
As an Old Louisville resident, I'm glad to see this kind of incubator go in, and I hope they are successful. However, I drive by this building daily, and before they started their work I used to always think it was an attractive small mid-century commercial building and hope it could be put to good use. All it needed was a bit of cleaning, and they could have cut some appropriately-styled doors into those walls on the existing facade and done whatever interior work they needed to suit their purpose. Instead, this nonprofit spent a lot of money and destroyed the architecture of a building that can't be replaced, and made it look like any number of "office condos" in the suburbs.
I have to agree with James. Always great to see reuse, even better when it doesn't involve so much erasure. Otherwise, looks like they support some great businesses and should be an overdue boost to the neighborhood. Curious to see what will come of the blank doors. They look like unfinished cuckoo clocks. Maybe 3 small business advisors will pop out on the hour?
I agree that the building was more attractive before, can modern architects/builders come up with *anything* that doesn’t look like low-bid, cheap crap? It’s a sad statement that these kinds of nondescript midcentury buildings still have 10x the charm of anything built (or remodeled) today…
Hopefully what they do inside will be useful and contribute to the community.