Okmulgee Building Seeking Coffee Shop Offering Free Rent
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma - A building owner in downtown Okmulgee is offering free rent to test out a new business.
A downtown Okmulgee task force is trying to get someone to open up shop on the ground floor of a 100-year-old building, and the building’s owner is offering free rent to test out a new business.
There are big plans for the old office space on the ground floor of the historic McCulloch Building in Okmulgee - the building owner wants to rent it free for three months to anyone who builds a coffee shop.
The office building in downtown Okmulgee is participating in a revitalization project called "Okmulgee Rising," a movement to rebuild and repurpose the city's historic downtown buildings.
"We want everybody to know the incredible assets that Okmulgee has to offer," said McCulloch building manager Richard Larabee.
The hope is to get more people living, working, eating and shopping downtown.
In the McCulloch Building, Larabee is offering a space to entrepreneurs to start up free for the first couple of months.
The building's owner sees the need for retail space in his building and a vision to spur economic growth downtown.
Larabee said, "I think there's people out there probably on the verge of wanting to do something and kind of just a little worried about getting started - we want to offer that up."
The ground level space has water hookups and plenty of room for a coffee shop or small bistro.
The space is right where Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology students will soon be living in a renovated historic building.
"There's going to be close to 100 college students right over there across the street, along with all the others that are living downtown,” Larabee said. “We're taking off. We're going to put Okmulgee on the map."
Larabee is also a member of the Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force. The task force is working on projects like the retail space incubator program to get people attracted to downtown.