Intersection

The Arts District is happening in a big way in 2017

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Main Street in Downtown’s Art District.
Photo: Jon Estrada

Fittingly, it begins with coffee. Vesta Coffee Roasters, recently opened at Casino Center Boulevard a half-block south of Charleston, is serving up delicious house-roasted blends and, coincidentally, a preview of the boldface urban change coming to Downtown’s Arts District neighborhood.

Arts District Plaza. Three new Main Street buildings, owned by Arts Factory/Art Square owners Jonathan and Eshagh Kermani, will complete exterior construction this month. A property representative says the first two tenants, the Burlesque Hall of Fame and the Peter Gabriel-owned mixing board manufacturer Solid State Logic, will soon begin interior builds. The BHoF, now in a temporary space in neighboring Art Square, will have a space large enough to display a collection of racy, sequined showbiz that’s been mostly in storage since the museum opened to the public in 2010. And though none are yet officially announced, restaurants seem a likely tenant for the buildings, two of which have rooftop patios.

More places to drink and eat. Hop Nuts Brewing might soon have company. Kamran and Adam Foulad are considering microbreweries for two buildings they own: a former auto repair shop at Main and Imperial, and the unused space behind the popular Cornish Pasty, which might also host a small club venue. The Foulads are also bringing two new restaurants to their property at 1130 S. Casino Center—one an upscale Italian eatery from LA, the other a Thai spot—which will be announced soon, and they hope to open four additional restaurants at Main and Imperial.

Office space. Arts District pioneer Brett Wesley Sperry says his “two-and-a-half-story” professional building the Charleston, located on the triangular plot of land at Charleston and Art Way, should be built by the third quarter of 2017. A number of tenants have already expressed interest. “There was a lot of pent-up interest” in new office space in the Arts District, Sperry says—a demand that should also benefit the Venice, the soon-to-open Tradewinds Investments-owned office, retail and restaurant complex at California and Casino Center.

West Elm Workspace. Those new offices can equip themselves with fancy desks and chairs from a professional offshoot of the modern furnishings retailer, one of the tenants moving into David Mason and Christina Roush’s mixed-use HOP complex, now building at 1310 3rd Street. Don’t spill your coffee on ’em.

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