Restaurant serving up economic development

Restaurant serving up economic development

By Susanna P. Barton

 

One of the neighborhood’s biggest new job-makers is Black Sheep Restaurant, the primary tenant in 5 Points’ nearly complete 1534 Oak Street multi-use building. The business has begun hiring process to bring nearly 65 people onboard, according to spokesman, Allan DeVault.

The company is hiring for all positions but does not expect to make any firm hiring decisions until the first of August, said a post on the restaurant’s new Facebook page.

The 65-person employment figure is one of the neighborhood’s largest in recent months — adding to a healthy professional, retail and culinary job pool in the neighborhood commercial corridor. The restaurant provides new opportunities for wait staff and cooking crews that formerly were available Downtown. Black Sheep will be an evolution of popular downtown eatery, Chew, which closed recently for its relocation to 5 Points.

Black Sheep Restaurant is the first named tenant in the 1534 Oak Street project. When complete, the building will include commercial office space and a rooftop lounge. The distinctively designed, sharply angular building is located at the corner of Margaret and Oak streets on a small site that sat vacant for many years. The development team behind the building’s construction includes Black Sheep Restaurant Group, DW Meyers Construction and Design Cooperative.

DeVault said they are still looking at a late summer 2012 completion date. Glass has been installed on the building’s exterior and tile was being installed in the restaurant’s kitchen.

No additional tenants have been signed yet at the building, but DeVault said there have been “lots of inquiries.”

As far as parking goes at 1534 Oak Street, developers will be putting in 12 spaces on the east side of Margaret Street, nine spaces on the west side of Oak Street and 11 additional spaces on the east side of Oak. DeVault said the 11 spaces were not required by the development’s PUD, but the group felt they were important to create. All of the spaces located along the city right-of-way, he added, would be open to all. Building officials expect to put time restrictions on some parking spaces so office workers and employees won’t tie them up throughout the day.

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