With an anticipated investment of more than $4 million in the purchase of two downtown buildings and an additional 18-plus to be purchased in the next few weeks, Artesian Group LLC led by Craig Fenneman and Doug Molin is leading the charge in Martinsville’s downtown revitalization.
According to Fenneman, the purchase and rehabilitation of the structures in Martinsville’s downtown square were propelled by the shared vision between his team and Mayor Shannon Kohl’s administration. “We have been working together with Mayor Kohl and other members of her administration for several months on plans to take on the necessary revitalization of several downtown buildings – many of them historical structures – to help attract new businesses to our community. Her vision is key to our investment. “The Mayor’s ideas and goals for a revitalized downtown as outlined in her administration’s 100-Day and now 200-Day plans were right in line with our long-term goals for Martinsville,” Fenneman said. “We would not be doing these rehabilitation projects if it were not for Mayor Kohl’s and the City Council’s vision of an improved downtown and their support of and assistance for our efforts.”
Fenneman, his wife Mary and Molin and his wife Paula are overseeing work that started on buildings purchased at 10 East Morgan Street and 18 East Morgan Street.
“Currently, we are cleaning out the structures with plans to connect the buildings. We have a tenant in the works for the space. Many of the buildings we purchase will be multi-phased because they will need to be cleaned out before rehabilitation work can proceed.
“Our plans call for retailers to be housed on the first floor of two-story structures with the upstairs rehabbed into quality apartments, with ultimately 25-30 downtown apartments available for rent.
“One of our primary goals is to help create a critical mass of three to four new restaurants to complement the great variety of existing eateries already downtown. We are thinking of some combination of an Italian restaurant, a brew pub and perhaps something like a BBQ location, but we’ll have to see how that all plays out.
“As the Kohl administration is working hard to do, our ultimate goal is to make Martinsville a destination for folks to visit, spend money and realize this community is a great place to live and work. The purchase and rehabilitation of buildings downtown is how we can contribute to that success,” Fenneman said. “We started our concept as a private-public partnership. It’s been inspiring to us to see so many people excited about our plans and progress.”
Fenneman credits the Martinsville Chamber of Commerce and the Morgan County Economic Development Corporation for their support along with many downtown businesses who have been helpful and welcoming in the revitalization efforts.
For more information on the Artesian Group LLC, contact: Artesiangroupllc@gmail.com
For questions or interview requests, contact Mayor Kohl at 765-342- 2861 or Fenneman at 317-508- 3595.