MATTOON — The new owners of the former Common Grounds building are redeveloping the property with plans to market it for use by a restaurant or other businesses.
The Common Grounds building, 1612 Charleston Ave., was purchased more than a month ago by Mattoon-based Banes Property Management, whose owners include Jeremy Janes, Kayleb Burritt, and Burritt's fiancee, Amanda Cleys.
Kayleb Burritt said they had been wanting to get involved with real estate development in downtown Mattoon as a way to give back to the community, adding that he and Janes have Mattoon roots. Burritt said he and Janes have been inspired by the redevelopment work that property owners such as Keith Summers and Dr. Donal Freesmeier have done downtown.
"They have taken old buildings and made them new again," Janes said.
Consequently, Burritt said when former Common Grounds owner Mindy Cordes contacted him and his business partners about purchasing the building, they took the opportunity.
Janes said the old building needs extensive repairs, but he and Burritt have the professional experience needed to handle such a project. They are business partners in Legacy Roofing & Restoration in Mattoon.
The new owners started completely clearing out the interior of the building on Nov. 1. James said they plan to redo everything in the structure, including installing a new air handling system, electrical lines, plumbing, and a roof. Burritt said their goal is for the redeveloped building to be around for another 100 years.
"We want to do something and leave a legacy behind," Janes said.
Cordes opened her Common Grounds coffee shop and cafe in 1998 in this building and operated it there for 20 years. The building had previously been home to the Arcade Drug Store for decades.
Burritt said they plan to develop six to eight luxury apartments on the second floor above the former Common Grounds and adjacent Meeting Grounds spaces.
Janes and Burritt said they hope to recruit a restaurant of some kind to open in the street level storefront of this building, but added that they are open to suggestions for other types of businesses. They welcome ideas at the Legacy Roofing & Restoration LLC page on Facebook.
"The downstairs isn't set in stone. It's open for suggestions," Burritt said.
Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @RobStroud