Downtown Janesville Storefronts Getting a Dress-Up
Dan Andreola Jr. stood inside his newly renovated coin and jewelry shop, Daniel Michael’s Jewelry and Coin, marveling at the glazed brick walls.
The 1,200-square-foot corner space at 39 S. Main St. once was cubed off as a local campaign headquarters for Rep. Paul Ryan. Now it has been opened up all the way down to the original brick—refloored, repainted, receilinged—and is ready for new business.
Andreola has been working in a back office, and he has had the shop open select hours for a few months now, but he still wells with pride when he looks around his new shop.
He thinks of the storefront, where he’ll buy, sell and appraise jewelry and coin collections for walk-in customers, as a small metaphor for the reinvention and revitalization that’s occurred around Janesville’s Main Street corridor.
“Something is bubbling up here. I’m new downtown, but you can see it. I can feel it,” Andreola said.
Andreola soon will be joined by another business, Angie’s on Main, a gift shop that operates on Main Street but plans to move into the storefront next door to Daniel Michael’s in February.
Both shops will add retail flavor to a block of South Main Street buildings that for years has been associated with consignment sales and antiquing, including Carousel Consignments and, more recently, Modern Charm.
The building’s addition of new shops comes on the heels of new lease and renovation deals that building owner Todd Kimball said he struck with Andreola and Angie’s on Main owner Angie Losee.
Kimball, a Janesville native, said he decided to renovate the spaces to draw new tenants because, like Andreola, he’s feeling a wave of optimism and momentum downtown unlike anything he’s experienced before.
Kimball thinks the city’s effort to revitalize the riverfront west of Main Street through the ARISE strategy, and the ensuing private investment linked to ARISE, have given downtown businesses and property owners wind in their sails.
“Right now, there’s the most positive momentum in downtown than I’ve seen in the last 30 years, I’m telling you,” Kimball said. “There’s been upswings downtown and starts to what we’re seeing now, but it’s always died down after a while. I think this time, things are gaining steam.”
It’s enough steam that he’s been willing to work with a pair of tenants on renovations that include 2,200 square feet of retail space on the street level and on the second floor of the storefronts above Andreola’s store and the future Angie’s.