His building briefly without a tenant, Darrell Vanderstelt, co-owner of Dutch Bros. Development Group, took stock of his property at 119 S. Cochran Avenue this past winter and was shocked at what he found. The brick that made up the front façade of the building was crumbling, succumbing to a lack of support.
“There was nothing tying the brick on the front of the building together,” Darrell said. “The front of the building was literally falling into Cochran.”
He has spent the past two months correcting the issues, completely removing and replacing the front of his building.
“We found places throughout the building that had been patched over time,” he said of the building he suspects was built prior to 1900. “I knew the entire front façade needed to be replaced.”
The work represented a significant investment, which forced a change in tenants the Vanderstelts had agreed to lease the building to prior to construction. Cochran’s RC was initially scheduled to move into the new building in late winter, expanding on what has grown into a successful hobby shop in the last two years.
Construction delayed the move, and when Darrell realized the extent of the damages, he had an up front conversation with Cochran RC owner, Mark Cochran. The renovation project meant increased rental rates would go into effect after the initial lease terms were up.
“I really want to thank Cochran’s RC for working with me,” Darrell said. “I think he understood our situation, and we’re very fortunate he was willing to work with us.”
Instead, PAE Plumbing will move into the location with a projected opening date early this summer. Owner Tim Comer said the growth of his business the past five years allows a downtown retail space.
“We’re excited to have a spot in town,” Tim said. “I like the idea of having a place people can stop in and talk with us.”
Tim said part of having a downtown location is the opportunity for a small showroom, which will allow the business to eventually add retail sales in the future. He said the plan is to set up small showcases that demonstrate the plumbing systems in a kitchen and bathroom. Tim said it will take some time to get the building ready for a showroom.
Darrell said he’s excited another business is moving downtown and hopes the community will continue to support its local businesses.
“Charlotte is our hometown,” he said of he and his business partner and brother, Jason Vanderstelt. “It’s a good place to invest and I’m hopeful that our investment in the community will continue to motivate others to get involved. We can all work together and be positive about our community.”