Volume XIX, Number 35
November 18 - 25, 1993

By Bill Kirk

After apparently rejecting prospective tenants that wanted to set up a brewpub and a clothing store in the space, landlord Ray Soehren is negotiating with Rob Fauble, the owner of The Beat Records, to move into the space at 17th and J streets previously occupied by Newbert Hardware. The popular music store, now located near 33rd Street and Folsom Boulevard, is expected to move its entire operation to midtown early next year. The move would more than double the store's current 5,000 square feet of floor space.

"We are eager to move in and become a part of the midtown scene," said Fauble. "We are also going to add an espresso-cappuccino bar inside the front of the store so our customers can listen to music by request while they enjoy their favorite java." Fauble indicated there will be seating all along the front windows of the former Newbert location, with several booths available for sampling CDs.

According to Fauble, negotiations have been underway with Soehren for several months, and a lease was recently signed. "There are still some details to be worked out, such as cleaning up and refurbishing the building inside," he told the News, adding that he expects to iron out any remaining wrinkles in about a month. Fauble told us that he does not plan to change the outside of the old hardware store since the building is so well known in the area.

In the meantime, what about the former home of Sam's Hofbrau across the street? Are there any plans for a new tenant there? According to Dick Hastings of the City Historic Preservation Board, there have not been any requests through his office to do anything with that building. And since the old Sam's building and the Newbert's hardware building are both on the city's historic preservation list, any requests for changes to the building, either inside or out will have to be run past the preservation board for approval, said Hastings.

"We hope anyone planning to move into these or any of the city's older buildings will contact us early so the new tenants' business plans will not be delayed at the last minute," said Hastings. "When you include an historic review, and environmental review and a public hearing with the normal permit process, it can add from four to six months before actual work can begin," he said.

When asked if there were any truth to the rumor that the former Sam's might be bulldozed next month to make room for a parking lot to service the expanded community center, Hastings said he knew of no plans to add any more parking downtown at all, "nor would the city be supportive of any new street level parking right now," he said.

As for any other plans by the city to make it easier for new tenants to move into Sam's former digs, Tim Johnson of the City's Economic Development Office told us that his staff contacted the landlords for both buildings at 17th and J streets soon after they became vacant, but neither has expressed interest in city-sponsored assistance. "The city is more than willing, even eager, to help prospective end users of vacant business properties," says Johnson, "but there is little we can do if the property owners do not respond to our offers."

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Copyright © 1993 by the Suttertown News and 2002-2015 by billkirkwrites. All rights reserved