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Work-in-progress among features of loft walk

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by Paul Flemming

SBJ Staff

Springfield Mid-America Singers' sixth annual loft walk in downtown Springfield is set for Oct. 11. Among the six properties on the tour is a work-in-progress on Park Central East owned by Joe Bowman and his Signet Resource Development.

The loft walk raises money for the nonprofit arts group and is designed to raise awareness of and interest in the downtown area.

Bowman's building, at 311-315 Park Central East, is the former home of Marx clothing store. Bowman has owned the two separate buildings for about three years and is resurrecting all three floors of each. The 311 building has about 10,000 square feet of space, and the 315 building is about 4,500 square feet.

The first floors are nearing completion, as is the renovation of the facade.

Downtown Springfield Association, Founders' Park and recent addition Springfield Area Arts Council are tenants in office space on the first floor of 311. The 3,000-square-foot space takes advantage of Art Deco renovations made in the '50s, and features a floor plan for the nonprofit tenants to share common space and office amenities.

Bowman said he is seeking a tenant for the first floor of 315, with an eye toward an after-theater restaurant. The buildings are a door down from the Gillioz Theater. The first floor has 16-foot ceilings and stamped-tin ceilings. Bowman is planning a patio at the back of the building.

Bowman's participation in the loft walk will highlight the possibilities of the buildings' second floors, which he will lease as office space. Demolition, stabilization and the installation of new stairways and windows have the second floors in a "white box" state, Bowman said.

For the loft walk, he plans to display floor plans and renderings of what the space will become.

The third floors are slated as loft apartments, though Bowman said that is in his long-range plan, about three years down the road.

The other properties on the loft walk are also in the Park Central Square/downtown area. Those participating are Dudley and Kay Martin, at 435 E. Walnut; Courtney and Angelica Moore, at 406 W. Walnut; Andy Goodwin and Jeff Bauer, at 454 W. McDaniel; Jackie Kennen, at 422-2B W. McDaniel; and Ron Schie, at 422-3A W. McDaniel.

Tickets for the loft walk are $5 in advance or $6 the day of the event. Advance tickets are available at Rocke & Co., 1345 E. Montclair; Springfield Music Co., 3100 S. Fremont; and Nonna's Italian-American Cafe, 306 South Ave.

The tour runs 1-5 p.m. Oct. 11.

More information is available from Molly Faulkner, 863-1993, or at the Springfield Mid-America Singers' office, 863-SING.

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