Niles DDA to hold open house at Gallery building

Published 8:48 am Thursday, January 16, 2014

An open house for the Gallery Building, located at the corner of Second and Main streets in downtown Niles, will be held this weekend during the 10th Annual Hunter Ice Festival.

The building is owned by the city of Niles, which purchased it at a property tax sale in August for a little more than $20,000 before turning it over to the Niles Main Street Downtown Development Authority for management and marketing.

The open house is from 3-5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Scott Roberts, Niles Main Street/DDA Economic Restructuring chairman, will conduct the tours.

“It’s an opportunity for anyone interested in the building to take a guided walkthrough,” Roberts said.

The building has “good bones” and was updated in the mid-1980s with handicapped accessible amenities, a modern fire suppression system and electrical, according to Roberts.

A request for proposal by the city said the development site is approximately 8515 square feet and includes a two-story structure. Proposals are sought for market rate mixed-use residential, commercial, or office developments.

“Ideally at the DDA we’d like to see some retail in there,” Roberts said.

Roberts said they plan to hold open houses once or twice a month in the near future. Prospective buyers can contact DDA/Main Street at (269) 687-4332 for a showing by appointment.

For more information about the building, visit the website and look under the “available space” tab.

The history of the building dates back to the 1800s, when it was a three-story structure that housed a variety of businesses, including a barber shop, cabinet maker and shoe and boot shop. Fire destroyed the building in the 1920s and was rebuilt as the two-story structure seen today. It housed many businesses in the 1900s, including the JC Penny Company in the 1950s to ‘70s.