WATER VALLEY – A lot has happened in the decade Upton Reynolds has been gone from Water Valley, attending college and working six years in the financial industry. During his journey, he has worked in numerous cities – Los Vegas, Seattle, Vancouver, Silicon Valley, to name a few – and the experience gave him appreciation for his hometown Main Street, especially with the recent renaissance.
“When I drive through Main Street it is so different from 10 years ago,” Reynolds explained. This appreciation made him want to return home and set up shop, a step he took earlier this summer with the purchase of the Main Street buildings that most recently housed the Doc’s Table restaurant.
The purchase was a partnership with his father, Tommy Reynolds, and renovation got underway last month. His plans are to make the smaller, one-story building on the north side his office, Reynolds Asset Management, LLC; while the downstairs portion of the adjacent two-story building will house a catering business.
His plans also include an upstairs renovation for apartments complete with an iron balcony. While work on the downstairs portion of the project is already underway, the apartments are a “year-plus out,” Reynolds explained, citing extensive work that will basically start with a slab upstairs.
Reynolds’ business is an affiliate partner of Jarred Bunch Consulting, based out of Indianapolis. He has worked with the company for a little over a year and will provide a wide range of asset management out of the Water Valley office. The actual floor plan includes Reynolds’ office, a conference room and foyer. The space will be used to showcase work from some of the local artists. Furniture for the office will be constructed by Danny Forysth, featuring an eight-foot bookcase.
“I plan to turn it into a really nice office,” Reynolds reported. “My architectural style is very much 1950s,” he added. “We are going to have our balcony, it will be beautiful with a great view.”
The back part of the building that formerly housed a bar and still has the fixings attached will remain mostly unchanged, but Reynolds was quick to go on the record, “I am not going to open a bar.”
The Reynolds’ project is part of investments in Main Street businesses and buildings that are both large and small. A new pizza franchise will open later this month in the former Pizzagetti building. Co-owner Greg Segroves told the Herald the franchise will be Hometown Pizza and will feature quality pizza and even offer local brew.
The largest renovation underway on Main Street started back in February when Mechanics Bank launched an extensive project that is expected to last at least a year and will include new facades for the span of buildings that make up the bank’s real estate. One goal is to make the buildings look like distinctive, different structures. Mechanic’s Main Street investment will also give the business additional workplace for employees and a new lobby.
The bank’s old community room will become a storefront for Mechanics Insurance. The community meeting room will move into the candle shop building (the old Kroger grocery store or “green” building, as it is sometimes called). The front two-thirds will be the community room with a kitchen area and restrooms in the back.
Another much-publicized restoration, Blu-Buck Mer-cantile, is only a couple of months from completion and will transform a row of dilapidated, crumbling buildings into prime downstairs retail space and upstairs apartments. Developer Kagan Coughlin has labored daily since last October on the project.
One of his most intriguing ideas is creating a courtyard in the northern most building with an overlooking balcony for several efficiency apartments upstairs. Behind the courtyard is a small coffee-style space ideal for the setting.
Just two doors down, the old cleaners building also changed hands this summer. Upton Reynolds’ mother, Liz Reynolds, purchased this building with plans for renovation. She has named it Bottleworks Bldg., paying tribute to the building’s heritage.