- Matt Sanctis Staff Writer
Renovations are ongoing at a historic downtown office building, but the site’s owner said it will still be more than a year before the work is complete.
Developer Robert Hull purchased the 4 W. Main St. property, formerly known as the National City Bank Building, for about $250,000 last year. Now known as Hull Plaza, it has undergone renovations, including improvements to the exterior of the building to repair the building’s original limestone.
Overall, Hull estimated the renovation costs have exceeded about $300,000 so far.
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“The building needs a lot of work,” Hull said. “When you get into it and start to do renovations, you find floors have to be replaced and stuff like that so it’s taking us a little longer than what we anticipated. But we are getting it done.”
The work on Hull Plaza is one of several projects in downtown Springfield in recent years, including massive overhauls of the Bushnell Building and the former Springfield News-Sun property. Other downtown developments include a new United Senior Services center, Mother Stewart’s Brewery and an ice arena.
Recently, renovations have been completed on about half of the building’s ninth floor, as well as improvements to the sixth and eighth floors, Hull said.
Workers have also been replacing pipes in the building as needed to prevent future issues ahead of time, Hull said.
In most cases, workers have been making renovations as tenants for the space are found. The office has been able to attract a a handful of tenants since the building was purchased, he said.
“The biggest project once we get a tenant for it is going to be the bank area,” Hull said.
More than $400 million has been spent in downtown Springfield over the past decade, including the new $250 million Springfield Regional Medical Center. The Bushnell Building renovation, new Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital and medical office building, Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, and Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. are other major developments.
Toya Clark, owner of Marc Anthony’s Hair Studio, said her business is completing an expansion this week in the building. The studio has been located in Hull Plaza for about a year. Clark paid for the most recent renovations on her own and invited staff from the Fresh Lines barber shop into the space, which will now offer a hair studio and barber shop.
Jeff Wade owns Mobile Dogs Cafe and works as building manager for Hull Plaza. The building is seeing more interest for potential tenants as the renovations have continued, he said.
The more tenants the building is able to attract, Wade said, the more potential customers he’ll have for his restaurant on the first floor.
“We’re starting to get more tenants as they see work being done,” Wade said.