A historic Springfield farmer’s market will soon undergo a $1.75 million renovation to restore the community hub.
SpringForward and COhatch, a co-working lifestyle company based in Worthington, plans to announce today they are teaming up to reopen the Myers Market building at 101 S. Fountain Ave. in the heart of downtown Springfield.
“We believe in our mission to improve towns,” COhatch CEO Matt Davis said, adding the Springfield project will help continue to revitalize the city.
» PICTURES: Springfield Then and Now Myers Market
SpringFORWARD, a nonprofit with the mission of boosting investment in downtown Springfield, purchased the property earlier this year from the city of Springfield and will collaborate with COhatch to open a year-round artisan’s marketplace, shared kitchen, food hall, and co-working, lifestyle and event space for local entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals.
The shared kitchen will offer a range of options for entrepreneurs, startups and food trucks requiring modern equipment and a shared cost model, a news release stated. The new food hall will be an ideal setting for local farmers, healthy eateries, caterers, experiential dinners and novelty hamburger restaurateurs and the like. Visitors will be able to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a meal or snack with family and friends, the release stated.
The facility is expected to open in mid-2019. Davis said he hopes its up and running by summer, but said he doesn’t want to open before the market is actually ready to go.
COHatch’s been in business for two years, Davis said, and is currently operating five locations with Springfield being the sixth.
He said company employee and Springfield native Patrick Williams alerted him of the opportunity.
“At first, Springfield wasn’t really on our radar,” Davis said. “But we fell in love with the building.”
Springfield has a long history and part of COhatch’s mission is to help cities rebound to their former glory, Davis said.
“The market was operating in the 1920s,” Davis said. “Every city wants a (successful) market but many can never pull it off because they don’t know how. Springfield brought us in and we now have a partnership with the city and SpringFroward.”
Williams said he got the idea for the project from Chamber of Greater Springfield President and CEO Michael McDorman. The two spoke about the jobs and businesses like Silfex and Topre coming to town and how opening successful businesses in downtown can help continue to revive Springfield.
“I was going back to Springfield to visit my mom and dad and he was sharing everything that was happening here and his passion and we need to get downtown going,” Williams said.
Williams and Davis met with SpringForward and city leaders shortly after and agreed to take on Myers Market.
“We got to revitalize the downtown,” Williams said. “I was inspired to do something.”
“Since its inception in 2016, COhatch has been making a name for itself with the quality of its building restorations as it strives to create a new shared space concept built off the modern townhall,” said SpringFORWARD Executive Director Michael Greitzer. “With their vision and passion for rebuilding communities, we knew COhatch would make the perfect partner for us to restore the building, but more importantly, their business model will create a unique and exciting gathering place in the center of downtown.”
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