TCW to host tour of $2.9M renovation of CAS building

TROY — After nearly five years of planning and renovation, Troy Community Works is offering a one-day public tour of downtown Troy’s Coleman-Allen-Saidleman building located at 1-3 East Main Street.

Tours of the 14,000 square-foot, three-story building and its $2.9 million in restoration and renovation work will be held Sunday, Feb. 28, from noon to 5 p.m.

The first floor has its commercial units, while the second and third floors house six studio apartments and two “luxury” loft-style apartment units.

Christy Shell, board president of TCW, said it took the hard work of the entire board and its partners to see the project through completion from the former dilapidated and tired warehouse to a fully revived and restored building that will house both businesses and residents of downtown Troy for decades to come.

“We have an amazing board and group of partners who have been involved who made this project happen,” Shell said. “It’s amazing how the community has come out to support us.”

Shell said the TCW’s board is excited to share its hard work on the tour to show locals the craftsmanship which has revived one-quarter of the Public Square over the last five years.

With a winter tornado and a global pandemic hitting during its construction phase in 2020, Shell said the CAS restoration was a “fun and challenging” project from start to finish. The exterior design was developed by design firm The Olivine Design Studio. Community Design Alliance and Level MB Construction served as the architects and contractors, respectively, on the project.

Shell said her favorite part of the building project was “watching people’s reactions” when the building’s new colors transformed the building from white to blue. She also said she enjoyed watching the project “actually impact the downtown environment.”

Shell said, “It’s been incredible taking something historic and restoring it back and watching its revival unfold. We are hoping to continue (the building’s) legacy for a long time.”

Shell said Grandpa Joe’s candy store will reopen on the first floor in the coming weeks, and said another business is close to making its announcement to make the CAS building its home in the near future. Interested tenants will soon be moving into the building with its views of downtown Troy and the northeast quadrant of the Public Square.

The organization purchased the 1855 building from the late Stewart and Marilyn Lipp for $200,000 in 2015. The Lipps owned and operated David’s Shoes which closed in 1998. David Saidleman opened the shoe store in the 1930s and was Marilyn’s father.

The building’s namesake is from two of its three investors who envisioned the building to be the largest retail store in Troy: Dr. Asa Coleman, a Troy physician, and Henry Ware Allen, President of the First National Bank in Troy and local mill owner. William Cottingham also was one of the first owners and was a town businessman.

The building first served the Troy community as a feed and seed store and before housing a Civil War armory. The building’s Civil War connection is reflected in its gray-blue exterior color with gold and navy accents to resemble the Union soldier’s uniform. The third floor of the building served as a military recruiting center and armory for the Union. Those who enlisted were part of the 71st Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

The Troy Historical Society noted the building housed African-American hairdresser Grace Sewell’s business in 1927 for a short time. The salon moved to the “Brown Block” where she and her husband Perlema owned LaBelle Beauty Shop for 35 years. “In America in the 1920s, it was unique for an African-American woman to own and operate her own business,” the historical society in an article featuring the building.

Total renovation costs are $2.9 million, and funding partners include Ohio Development Services Agency, city of Troy, Troy Reinvestment Fund, Greenville National Bank, and the Finance Fund.

The project was secured through loans with Greenville National Bank for $1.1 million and $900,000 loan from the Troy Reinvestment Fund. Grant sources also included $1 million Community Development Block Grant funds from the state of Ohio and Target of Opportunity Funds & Economic Development Revolving Loan Funds, facilitated by the city of Troy. The project also qualified for a State Historic Income Tax Credit worth $107,000 and $49,000 grant from the Troy Foundation.

Tickets are $15 and are sold in 15-minute increments. Proceeds from the tour benefit the CAS building project and future projects of TCW. To purchase tickets, visit Troy Community Work’s Facebook Page or www.eventbrite.com/e/141602548033.