Renovations have begun downtown at Hull Plaza, 4 W. Main St., including the installation of a large replica clock and marble siding.
The improvements will cost several hundred thousand dollars, said building owner Robert Hull of 4 W. Main LLC. Other improvements include new light sconces and windows, he said, as well as replacing the building’s eaves and cleaning the limestone.
The clock is a similar style to one that was installed years ago, Hull said. The former clock was square and faced two sides of the street, he said.
The new clock will face all four sides of the corner of Main Street and Fountain Avenue. Both the clock and the sconces will light up at night, Hull said.
“I figured it would enhance the downtown area since this is the most popular corner in downtown,” he said. “People want to know what time it is.”
The building, also known as the former National City Bank Building and the Fairbanks Building, was purchased earlier this year for $250,000 by Hull, a developer from Louisville, Ky.
It was recently renamed Hull Plaza, in honor of his uncle, former Springfield attorney Anson E. Hull, who once had an office inside the building.
In the winter, Robert Hull will focus on making improvements to the foyers.
“I want the building to be as close to A1 as possible,” he said.
The focus has been on renovating the historic building, he said, rather than finding tenants. They have had calls about possible tenants, he said.
The ground-floor retail area along Main Street is nearly full, except for the former PNC Bank location. He’s hoping to bring another bank tenant into the space.
Mobile Dogs Cafe, 10 W. Main St., recently completed a 2,200-square-foot, 57-seat expansion, which also includes televisions, a restroom, a conference room and free wireless internet. The original 12-seat location opened in 2009.
“It’s really going well,” cafe owner Jeff Wade said. “We’re blessed to have it. People can bring their families in.”
The building also houses the Turner Foundation, Fresh the Barbershop, Mumma Realty and other businesses. The occupancy rate is currently about 30 percent, Wade said.
The new clock has drawn a lot of attention to the building this week, Wade said.
“People are stopping and taking pictures,” he said. “They really like it … When the rest of the building gets finished to go with the marble, it will all come together.”