The River District is now home to 7,056 square feet of new office space. Our Common Ground LLC, a company owned by Danvillian Barry Koplen and former Danvillian Sarah Lee Michaels, has purchased and renovated the former Franklin Discount Company, located at 212 North Union St., into individual office spaces that will be available for the general public to lease.
The building features a total of 14 offices, a shared meeting space, a conference room, a 2,000 square-foot reception area for community functions, a freight elevator, basement storage, and views of the Dan River. A potential tenant has expressed interest in occupying six of the spaces.
Remaining offices will lease for $395 per month and include free parking in the rear of the building along with a $50 credit toward each month’s utility bill, which will be shared equally among all occupants. Each tenant will be responsible for supplying their own furnishings, telephone and Internet connectivity.
Barry Koplen has owned and operated the Abe Koplen Clothing Store, located next door at 214 North Union St., for the past 25 years. The company was started by his great-grandfather, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, and has been in business at its current location since 1932.
“It was important to me to continue investing in the River District,” Koplen said. “My family has strong roots on North Union Street and this is my way to give back to the community and to this part of the district.”
Working with the City of Danville’s Office of Economic Development, Koplen and Ms. Michaels received a local incentive grant of $10,000. Project Manager Anne Moore-Sparks said, “The River District is in dire need of finished office space. With the addition of this project, I can now recruit potential offices to downtown and build upon the critical mass that is beginning to form. This is a great example of the private sector stepping up to the plate and assisting the City in implementing the River District Master Plan.”