Activated Spaces, an initiative to fill downtown storefronts, is accepting applications for temporary retail and service businesses to open downtown this fall as part of the third phase of its Pop-up Project. The project matches business owners and entrepreneurs with downtown property owners who have first-floor storefront space available for occupancy.
Interested retailers should fill out an application, which can be downloaded at www.activatedspaces.org, and email it to Sherri Wierzba at [email protected]. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, July 20. Tenants will be selected Aug. 6, and retailers must be ready to open no later than Friday, Sept. 14, in time for the fall Urban Nights.
Lease lengths will range from three to six months. The spaces will have varying lease rates, but will be leased below market value. Activated Spaces volunteers will connect retailers with commercial property owners, help make the space move-in ready, and promote the business during such events as First Friday and Urban Nights. Selected businesses will negotiate leasing terms directly with the selected property owner, but flexibility for the tenant is a priority.
Activated Spaces volunteers hope to build on the success of the Pop-Up Project’s pilot and second phases. Two of the three businesses in the pilot phase ― Beaute Box, 116 W. Fifth St., and Peace on Fifth, 519 E. Fifth St. ― transitioned their temporary leases into traditional long-term ones. Also going strong are the three businesses that opened May 11 as part of the second phase of the Pop-Up Project: American Pi, 37 S. St. Clair St.; Arin, 27 S. St. Clair St.; and Vintage Barbershop, 110 W. Fifth St.
Commercial property owners interested in offering space to interested Pop-Up Shop owners should contact Sherri Wierzba at 937-224-1518. Participating property owners will be listed on the Activated Spaces website. Once a match is made, a limited amount of money is available to be distributed at the discretion of the Activated Spaces team for such purposes as offsetting utility costs, making cosmetic improvements to the space or other necessities for making the space operational.
• reactivate and beautify vacant storefronts with creative displays
• encourage entrepreneurs, artists and community groups to occupy space for short- and long- term uses
• showcase downtown properties and increase interest and investment in available space