Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which means all of us at The Southern Standard are in our busiest time of the year preparing to give you the best countywide edition we can. For those who don’t know, Countywide is typically our largest newspaper of the year. It’s full of Black Friday ads from local businesses, all the news, sports and feature stories we can throw at it, and it goes out for free to as many people as we can reach across the county.
I hope everyone enjoys it and I hope anyone who hasn’t subscribed already will consider taking advantage of our biggest sale of the year during Black Friday week. A year’s subscription to The Standard delivered right to your house can be had for $78. That’s a saving of $22 over our regular price.
Amidst all the countywide preparation, I still managed to squeeze in a little time to scrape up some business news this week, so let’s get into it.
I’ve been holding a vigil in the former home of Randy Jane and Co. on Main Street for a while now and apparently I’m not alone. I have been asking questions about what is going on there for several weeks and I can tell you now with confidence. The building, which is currently undergoing a major face lift, will soon be home to Waterstone Titles. Originally known as First Title and Escrow, the company has been around for 21 years. Kelly Taylor will manage the title company. Kelly has done a great job in the past building relationships with builders and realtors and hopes to carry that over to the new venture. David Marttala will provide legal counsel for the title company. The building is currently under construction but Kelly hopes to be open in early January.
All real estate transactions handled by Watertown Title will be conducted from the new office at 222 E. Main St. The building has four offices as well as a closing area and a reception area. I was given a tour of the offices as work was ongoing and the smell of fresh construction was fresh in the air. It will certainly be a new look for those familiar with the interiors of Randy Jane & Co. but I’m happy to report the beautiful exposed brick walls remain.
The building offers a great central location in downtown McMinnville and ample parking both in the front and back of the business and is yet another example of the revitalization of downtown since the Main Street renovation project. What was once a real ghost town now sees no building staying empty for long.
“The title business has grown significantly and I feel like we can offer the community our services in a good location and a really cool building,” Kelly said.
Hopefully I will be able to get back with Kelly on her opening and give her a better look at the finished site, but, for now, I wanted to put everyone’s curiosity to rest and give a title to the mystery business.
That’s one downtown mystery solved, but, as further proof of the city’s business boom, there’s another long-dormant building showing signs of life.
The old eye, which was once little more than an open block structure and graffiti kit behind Begonias Restaurant, has seen a lot of work recently. New doors were cut, old open holes were covered and the exterior was painted white.
I have an idea what’s coming but I’ll put my speculation to rest and let you know as soon as I’m sure and at liberty to say.
What I can tell you with certainty is the project was overseen by Raven Young of Raven Young Designs. Raven is a McMinnville native and graduate of UT Chattanooga who holds a degree in interior design. She manages Main Street Center, LLC, the Old Fraleys building.
Along with her grandfather, Ken Roberts, she brought several new businesses to the site, including Southern Traditions and Begonia, among others. Raven is a member of the McMinnville Historic Zoning Commission and is the president of Main Street McMinnville.
I haven’t gotten a look at the new site yet, but if Raven’s other work is any indication, I expect to see a beautiful area in what was once a place only the brave would venture. I’m told to expect the building to be live in early 2023.
It took a little longer than expected, but the Industrial Development Board approved a motion on Friday that brought the county one step closer to an incentive deal to facilitate a massive expansion in Bridgestone.
A meeting Thursday, where a motion to rewrite a previously agreed-upon incentive package was requested, was postponed until Friday after key members and some county commissioners in attendance expressed frustration at not being presented with drafts of the agreement. And relevant exhibitions agree.
While some questions were raised, Bridgestone officials were repeatedly reassured by board members and commissioners that getting a deal to pave the way for the planned expansion was something everyone wanted, but members wanted more clarity on the full details of the agreement before they voted. .
On Friday afternoon after the opportunity to review the exhibits, the motion to approve the Bridgestone PILOT incentive package as presented was passed with a unanimous 8-0 yes vote.
Charles Traughber, a member of the Bridgestone legal team in attendance, told the board that a worldwide search was being conducted by Bridgestone’s headquarters in Japan and that Warren County emerged as the preferred destination.
IDB chairman Jenny Nafrada pointed out that the incentive package is not only about securing Bridgestone’s expansion locally, but also to ensure that the existing plant remains here. When the motion passed, Nafrada said, “This is a wonderful thing for our county. We have to wade through some mud to get to the end of the road, but we’re doing it and we’re going to get to the end of the road. The road and it’s going to be wonderful for our county and surrounding counties. I’m very grateful for Bridgestone. We’re really excited about it.”
The incentive package will next be presented for a vote by the County Commission Monday night at 6:30 p.m.
until next time,
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As always, send your business tips to [email protected] or call (931) 473-2191. Thanks for reading. And remember, if you don’t already subscribe to The Southern Standard or if you need to renew, there’s never a better time to do so than this week.