When the Cornell Cooperative Extension relocated, one of the contingencies was the purchase of the building, says local developer Jim Rutowski.
Rutowski says there were many calls from people looking for small offices or shop space and offering space in an empty building gives business owners an opportunity to grow their business with minimal investment.
“Seventy percent of job growth is with small business,” Rutowski said. “I know challenges with small businesses and if I can help them grow…It’s a win-win for the county.”
JAMS music shop owner Bob Caplick had been looking to tap into the Warsaw market for some time now. While his music store is prosperous in Attica, parking has been an issue for his customers.
“Parking has always been an issue, but I also wanted to expand the service aspect of the business,” Caplick said. “The Attica store will still be open, but multiple businesses in one location will draw different clients and help bring more people in.”
While JAMS main business will remain in its Attica location, the Warsaw satellite shop will offer more service oriented aspects to the business like music lessons, computer and guitar repair, record and cassette to CD conversion, as well as VHS to DVD conversion.
“The bulk of our inventory will remain in Attica,” Caplick said. “But there will be a few guitars here and there, as well as other retail items but on a smaller scale.”
Although the businesses that will occupy the space aren’t interconnected, Caplick sees it as being a “one-stop shop for many things.”
In addition to the shops and other service-oriented businesses, the building also features a meeting room that will handle approximately 40 people. Additionally, the space has a cooking area which can be used if the renter of the space so chooses.
There have been a few renovations to the building, Rutowski says – roof repair, general maintenance and cleaning – after all, the building was built in the 1950s. Additionally, new signage has been put in place, as well as plans to renovate the front to give it a more modern look. At some point, Rutowski envisions adding onto the building to bring more businesses in.
“The county did such a good job renovating the hospital, the thought was that having businesses in this space would be appealing for those who not only work in the hospital, but use or visit it as well,” Rutowski said. “Right now we have about 80 percent of the building rented. We are trying to make the space as affordable as possible. Individual shop renovations will take place after the businesses become more comfortable in the space.”
For now, the old CCE building will house a dog groomer, dry cleaner, insurance agent, a dog rescue, and of course, JAMS.
“One of the draws to this location was there is not only ample parking, there is also tons of traffic that goes through Warsaw,” Caplick said. “I had thought about it (bringing a satellite location to Warsaw) for awhile and decided to just go for it. I’m clutched! I figured I’d try it and see what happens. I gotta be positive about it, if I’m not, then what’s the point?”
Rutowski says there is still more space available for any small business interested in opening a satellite office or seeking an increased presence in the county.
“Warsaw has good traffic flow and Main Street is lined with small businesses,” Rutowski said. “As I said, 70 percent of job growth is with small business and if I can help someone grow their business…I’d love to talk with them.”
JAMS Warsaw location will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and Dec. 20 through 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The Attica location will hold extended hours through the holidays.
The official opening of the building will be sometime early January.
For more information about renting a space call Shawn Bailey at (585) 329-7794 or Jim Rutowski at (716) 536-2330.