MBJ: New high-tech space coming to historic building in West Tennessee town
A coworking, incubator and maker space is on the way for historic Downtown Dyersburg.
Main Street Dyersburg and a coworking space under construction there will receive a $50,000 grant for The Mill Workspace as part of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s second round Main Street Entrepreneur Grants. The projects are funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship and revitalization of vacant and underused buildings in Tennessee’s Main Street communities.
The communities are accredited through a state program and the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each grant application was supported by the community’s state senator and state representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Chris Donaldson bought and refurbished two buildings at 215 and 217 Mill Avenue; 215 will house his company, Tencom, and 217 will house the coworking space. Donaldson plans to join the buildings together in the future, and Tencom will be a tenant in the workspace. At that point, Tencom will be located in the back and the buildings will share a front area on the coworking side.
The first building is already under construction, and Donaldson will soon start construction on the Mill Workspace side. Both buildings will receive new electrical, plumbing and work on the inside and outside. He plans for the buildings to have a modern, industrial feel. Donaldson said that the grant will cover a quarter of the construction costs for the workspace.
“We’re trying to bring a little urban flair to the historic district of Dyersburg”, Donaldson said.
In the meantime, on the Tencom side of the building, Donaldson is preparing to host entrepreneurship classes soon. Next week, fiber internet access will be installed.