Entrepreneurs re-purposing empty warehouses in MidTown CLE.

by | Apr 19, 2017 | Arts & Culture, Development News, Events & Festivals

Tuesday, April 18th – I needed to counteract my depression from writing a big check to the IRS today, so I went and visited an old warehouse in MidTown Cleveland that is being re-purposed and filled with entrepreneurial businesses and people who still make things by hand. This 1902 building was originally occupied by the Osborn Manufacturing Corp.  Located at E. 53rd and Hamilton, here’s a peak into what’s in the space now that shows that Clevelanders are forever reinventing themselves and our economy:

RBX founder, Jessica Davis, talks to a customer.

RBX (AKA Rebuilders Exchange): 70,000 SF slowly filling up with industrial, commercial, and residential building materials (and a bit of decor). Customer base will be largely contractors, interior designers, and do-it-yourselfers but will also be open to the public by early summer 2017.
Jessica Davis, the founder and a neighbor of mine, showed us 8′ solid wood doors, metal school style lockers, marble fireplace surrounds, wheeled industrial carts, cabinets from a high end kitchen remodel, a long wooden bar top and stools from the now closed Literary Cafe in Tremont, every style sink, a slew of safe deposit boxes from a closed bank…cool things that often are 50-100 years old (they don’t make ’em like this anymore) that with a little elbow grease and imagination could make a project stand out.

RBX – a place to buy or sell building materials, etc.

Many people know Habitat for Humanity’s Restore shops; and while some of the wares may be the same, items at RBX are sold on consignment. So instead of a tax write off, you get cash.
Jessica walked us through to visit other tenants in the building including:
Ingenuity: A quirky fun annual festival that merges art and technology; they use 350,000 SF. RBX is not only their year round workshop, but they also hosted the festival there last year and plan to do the same in 2017.
SoulCraft: Love to do woodworking, but don’t want the mess in your garage/basement? Wish you had a few other woodworkers around to offer advice and classes so you can learn from the pros? Like to take up woodworking but don’t have $10K to invest in all the tools and saws you need? This is the place for you. Bring in your own wood and get to work using shared tools and space, or rent your own personal wood shop area by the month. There are people who do small projects like cutting boards and sell them at local markets all the way up to pros like 3 Barn Doors, which builds custom furniture, remodels homes, and uses this as their workshop.

Brian Schaffran, owner, Skidmark

Finally we saw Skidmark, a DIY motorcycle garage where you can rent your own bay and keep your bike there to restore or fix, or share space and tools with the rest of the members. Owner Brian Schaffran is looking to fill this place up with people who want to tinker with their bikes and drink beers while discussing motorcycles in a community setting. Half of this place looks like a man-cave (although there were women there when I visited) with over-sized recliners and sofas and seems like a cool place to hang, learn new stuff, and work on your bike.
Executive Arrangements introduces the quality of life to job candidates and employees transferring into NE Ohio. We are retained by the company moving them here to quickly plug them into the people, resources, and places they need to quickly feel at home in Cleveland or Akron. Finding niche spots like those listed above is just one way we do this. If your company could use help attracting and retaining the best possible talent, call us at 216.231.9311, and let’s talk.