121 N. Main to hold grand opening event Tuesday

The 121 N. Main façade is pictured on Wednesday. The business incubator project, spearheaded by the Portia Club, will hold its grand opening on Tuesday, Sept. 14 from noon to 2 p.m.

PAYETTE — With final preparations having been made this week ahead of a planned open house, Portia Club board president Cleo Thompson announced to the Payette City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday that the club’s 121 N. Main project is nearing completion and will have its grand opening on Sept. 14. The non-profit business start-up space is located just south of the Payette Senior Center in downtown Payette.

In her statement to the council during the meeting, Thompson expressed her gratitude to city officials for helping make this project happen.

“Thanks to [the] city for [its] façade grant,” said Thompson. “Thanks to [Deputy Clerk] Bobbie Black for helping with the Idaho Commerce department grant over a period of almost three years. Thanks to, of course, always ready to help [Councilor] Ray Wickersham for installing CAT-5 internet access to the building.”

The building itself was originally built in 1910, according to information from the Portia Club obtained by the newspaper. It previously housed two businesses, Ferney’s Ice Cream Shop and the Top Hat Cafe.

The two businesses ceased operating there in the 1980’s, and the deed to the building was donated to Friends of the Portia Club in 2018.

In an interview with the newspaper Wednesday, Thompson told the newspaper that she has had curious onlookers asking about the space.

“A lot of people want to see it; They’re very interested and haven’t been [inside],” she said.

Two offices will be made available, initially; One will be 458 square feet, the other 489 square feet. Rents will start at $150 per month. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30, with a selection committee set to spend the following week choosing tenants. Final selections will be made Oct. 10 with contracts to be signed that week.

Businesses will be able to move in Oct. 15.

According to Thompson, businesses will largely be limited to retail or other businesses without need for permanent fixture installation

“There’s nothing that can be put in here permanently, like a beauty salon with water and sinks. There can’t be a pizza place, no stoves. It’s all … office and retail,” she said.

The grand opening event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday. Refreshments and building tours will be provided.

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