Former Upper Valley Mall pretzel shop to open in downtown Springfield

A pretzel shop once located at the Upper Valley Mall is looking to open its doors in downtown Springfield as the city looks to enter into an employment incentive agreement with the business.

The goal is for Pretzelmaker to move into 30 North Fountain Avenue and be up and running by the fall. The business is expected to hire at least six people as well as invest money into the property, said Tom Franzen, the director of economic development for Springfield.

Springfield city commissioners are expected to vote on an employment incentive agreement with Pretzelmaker at their next public meeting on Tuesday.

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If passed, the city would be providing a grant of $7,440 to the pretzel shop as it plans to invest money and create jobs in Springfield. The agreement states that Pretzelmaker would create at least six new jobs within a two-year period.

Pretzelmaker was previously located at the Upper Valley Mall, which shuttered its doors in June. The pretzel shop had four employees at the time, Frazen said.

Pretzelmaker, which is a franchise, will be moving into a spot that has been vacant for a number of years and is currently owned by Belmont Development Associates LLC, which is under the Turner Foundation.

The business worked with Dillin Property Group as well as the Clark County Land Bank and the Turner Foundation to find a new location.

Daren Cotter, with the Turner Foundation, said that building contains two empty storefronts and Pretzelmaker will be moving into the one that is adjacent to Winans Chocolates & Coffees.

Cotter said that the Turner Foundation is rehabilitating the building. He did not provide an exact figure, but said that work will cost a few hundred thousand dollars.

In addition to the Turner Foundation, Pretzelmaker will be investing between $100,000 and $150,000 to build out the space it will be operating out of, said Jong Suk Sohn, the franchise owner. That includes purchasing and adding equipment.

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The City of Springfield also recently entered into an employment incentive agreement with a former business at the Upper Valley Mall that moved its operations within city limits.

Springfield entered into the agreement with Storm Mixed Martial Arts, which was approved by commissioners last week. The business will be receiving a $7,200 grant and is expected to hire two full-time employees as well as two-part time employees.

The mixed martial arts studio’s new location is at 105 North Thompson Avenue and the business has invested at least $109,000 into the property as part of tenant improvements.