The Friends of Portsmouth (FOP) group recently accepted their largest donation to date, with the acquisition of property at 440 Second Street. The massive, historic structure features three floors and 10,296 square feet and means big things for the future of Friends of Portsmouth.
The building was donated by three couples who have business ties to the community.
“Three local business owners decided to donate the building to Friends of Portsmouth for use in the downtown area,” Friends of Portsmouth Executive Director Brian Smith said. “We thank them, generously, for their donation, because of what it will mean in the future.”
Smith claimed that plans for the building aren’t yet concrete, especially regarding the first floor, but there are some elements that are guaranteed, such as office space and lofts.
“We’re still in meetings with people who have an interest in the first floor, but we do know for certain what the upper floors will be,” Smith said. “The second floor will be coworking spaces for the community. We will have a conference room and then have five to six offices outside of the Friends of Portsmouth office for either businesses, nonprofits, or people just needing a space to work out of. The third floor, we are looking at two to three lofts.”
“We’re super stoked about the building,” Smith said. “I am excited to have the space. I want to bring it back to life and make it look as original as possible, especially from the outside. I think it is great, because we’re saving a building, rather than it sitting there dilapidating. I think, in the long run, it will create a really cool space. Not only for businesses, people coming into town, locals, other nonprofits needing to utilize the conference space. I think it is a great way for us to give back to the community. Yes, we will be able to gain income from it, but it is also about being able to save a building and offer it to the community for a multitude of services.”
Smith said that the profit gained from the properties will go towards overall programming for the organization, with events such as Winterfest, which is adjacent to the property, Light up the Sky Fourth of July, River Days, Glocktoberfest, and more.
Smith is encouraged by recent development, thanks to nonprofits, private donors, businesses, their own group, the City of Portsmouth, Main Street Portsmouth, the Scioto Foundation, and more.
“I feel great about that section of downtown. I absolutely love it. I look for it, in two years, it is going to be a hopping place. People really want to be down there and there are more things in the works,” Smith said. “You have Mike working on his Market Street Park, the city is putting in the pavilion, Maddie getting the Christmas store done with two lofts above it. There is just so much in the downtown to do and I’m excited about it.”
The Friends of Portsmouth is a 501©3 nonprofit serving the entire downtown community through events and festivals. Reach out to someone at [email protected]. For more information on their events and programming, view their website at www.friendsofportsmouth.com
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved