WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – People who are thinking about starting a business or artists looking for space to sell their work just may be in luck.
The Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corporation is offering affordable retail space on North Park Avenue. Officials are calling it “Shops on the Square.”
In the old radio station building, there is room for eight tenants with rent ranging from $100 to $250 a month.
“The response has been incredible. We really just put this out into the public as of last week. We put up a Facebook post and it just exploded. There were so many calls, so much interest we already have signed our second tenant,” WRAP program consultant Melissa Holmes said. “These spaces are going to go really fast because the best thing about it is they are truly affordable and that is the point. We want this to be something where people don’t have to worry about losing capital.”
The first tenant, Mandabees Headbands, is set to open Monday at noon.
“It is a huge step to my dream. I never thought I would be here, let alone be here this quickly,” Mandabees Headbands owner Amanda Benchwick said.
Benchwick started her company by hand-sewing her product. Her business is quickly growing, selling about 1,500 a week online. And thanks to the WRAP Shops on the Square program, she will have her own retail space in downtown Warren.
“I saw this space and with the windows here, my idea of taking a boutique from maybe New York City style and putting it here in downtown, it just screamed perfect to me,” Benchwick said.
The second tenant is Moments in a Lifetime Event and Floral Co., which is owned by Laurie Sayers-Prickett.
“It is extremely exciting. There is a lot of things happening on the square that the opportunity is vast. There is so much going on,” she said.
Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.