Grand Island’s Bartenbach Building Comes To Life | Grand Island Local News
The Bartenbach building in downtown Grand Island is undergoing a major renovation.
The historic building at North Locust Street and West Second Street is set to become ‘Artisan’s Alley’ under project partners Cathryn Sack and Gabe Coin.
The building was purchased for $550,000 and will benefit from an investment of approximately $1.9 million, including $550,000 in tax increment funding approved by Grand Island City Council in January and Community Redevelopment Authority in February.
“We’re bringing this building back to life,” Sack said. “For us, it is the pillar of the city centre. It’s off the main hallway. This is the first building you see, when entering it from the east, south or west.
Already, Sack and Coin has attracted new businesses to the site.
Bartenbach will host Allo Communications on Grand Island and Speakeasy, an “intimate cocktail lounge”.
The upstairs living areas are also being renovated.
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There will be 12 condos in total, including four corner units, and rooftop terrace access for five units.
“It will be stamped concrete with a glass balustrade,” Sack said.
The original “Bartenbach Galleries” sign will remain in place, Coin noted. Sack identified it as Nebraska’s first neon sign.
The site’s first commercial space, 201 N. Locust, is getting a facelift and its classically styled pillars are being restored.
“These are actually redesigns of the original replicas of what was here before. Mayhew hand cast them to match the original structure of the building and we are going to have them redone,” Sack said.
The windows also receive new awnings.
“We want to create depth again because we’re seeing a lot of flat here,” Coin said. “We want to create more depth and character.”
Civic Nebraska remains located at 203 N. Locust. Its neighbor, 205 N. Locust, is vacant and available for rent. Speakeasy will be hosted at 207 N. Locust.
Hello will occupy the space at the north corner of the building. It will house their offices and customer support center.
“They’re super excited to be a part of Grand Island, its history and its future,” Sack said.
To increase its durability, the building’s facade will be sprayed with foam to help make utilities more efficient and improve longevity, Sack said.
Coin expects renovations to the building’s storefronts to be completed by mid-July. A Lincoln-based artist will contribute a mural on the building’s brick-fronted second floor.
“It’s going to be really colorful artwork, and he’s also going to paint a giant peacock on the brick wall, which will be fun,” Coin said.
It was the Second Street alley that inspired the two to pursue the project, they said.
Coin identified it as the only private lane in downtown Grand Island.
Both shared a vision of what this alley could become, Coin explained.
“We were on a trip, going to Texas, and we decided we had to use that time to come up with a name,” he said. “We both love art, and we were going to look at the art. We love the alley. That’s why we bought the building. We both had the same vision, and it was perfect The alley of craftsmen.
The alley will be renovated to be a gateway experience. New concrete will be poured and it will be accented with decorative lights and adorned with painted art.
“We imagine flag signs and potted flowers and a more quaint, ‘al fresco’ feel,” said Sack, who is optimistic about the site’s prospects.
“It’s going to be a really good building community,” she said. “It will be diversified and will have life, housing. It’s just a good mixed-use building.