Mixing the old with the new is the goal of building owner, Greeley Sachs, who owns several Downtown Longmont properties. Over the next few months, three of her properties will undergo renovations that remember the past while preparing for the future.
Sachs moved to Longmont in 1999 and found an apartment at Third Avenue and Main Street, above the China Panda, she said. Immediately falling in love with the downtown vibe and historical aspects, she wanted to own a property and restore it to its historical beauty, she said.
Just over a year ago, that dream came true when Sachs purchased the properties of 350, 356 and 356 ½ Main Street.
Sachs not only wants to renovate the properties but also hopes to support local businesses by offering reasonable rents and providing some of the amenities that might not be available at the properties already.
Sachs has been involved with EforAll — a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that accelerates economic and social impact on communities through entrepreneurship — for several years. Through the nonprofit she has learned the struggles new small business owners face.
“Knowing that there are people out there who want to have local businesses that … help the community and bring people to the downtown area to drive economic growth … I think Longmont has that in a way that some other communities don’t,” Sachs said.
For the 350 Main Street property, the former home of Jensen’s Guitars — which moved down the street to 360 Main Street — Sachs hopes to turn it into a restaurant. She is outfitting the space with a grease hood and vents so the new business owner will not have to, she said.
The property of 356 ½ Main Street is at the top of a very steep set of stairs. Sachs will add an elevator, making it ADA accessible.
All the spaces will see the restoration of the original sized windows on both floors and the return of the original ceiling heights. The lower levels will see a return of the pressed metal ceiling tiles, where available.
“We are thrilled to see this type of investment in the historic core of Downtown”, said
Kimberlee McKee, executive director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority. “This project restores the charm of these downtown Longmont historic buildings and provides a revitalized space for local businesses and entrepreneurs to get established in our community.”
Unfortunately, due to water collecting behind the stucco placed on the breezeway on the south side, the mural created by Gamma Acosta will be removed.
“We wish we were able to preserve the mural on the south wall of 350 Main Street, but after years of water being trapped under the surface of the stucco, we have no choice but to remove the mural to preserve the building,” Sachs said in a news release.
The mural features key moments and people in Longmont’s history. McKee said the mural has been documented in high-resolution photos by Longmont Public Media. A sign with a QR code will be placed along the breezeway allowing people to view the footage.
Sachs is remiss that the mural can’t be preserved, she said she is open to the idea of a future art project adorning the south wall of 350 Main Street in the future.
“I really do hope that it contributes to the community,” Sachs said of the renovation project, adding, “and maybe other people as well will see Longmont as a good investment and a place where they also want to invest time, energy and money into the Main Street and Downtown Longmont.”