A revamped West Union Street is set to include a new restaurant, a clothing store and more.
A clothing retailer is set to open Friday, following the November 2014 fire that had West Union Street under construction for months, Uptown Dog owner Mary Cheadle said.
After 20 years at 10 W. Union St., Uptown Dog relocated to 9 W. Union St. while the buildings were being reconstructed.
Rather than moving Uptown Dog back into the restored space, Cheadle decided to open 10 WEST Clothing Co., a unisex store marketed toward both students and local citizens.
In addition to undecorated T-shirts and sweatshirts, the store will offer a “nearly new” section, Cheadle said. It will include used garments, as well as big-name brands with 50 to 70 percent off their original prices.
“Most of the other clothing stores in town are a little more upscale and dressy and a little higher-priced, so I’m trying to offer this more casual type of clothing at a reduced rate,” Cheadle said.
Cheadle’s ultimate goal is to enhance the shopping experience of students and Athens residents.
“I wanted to be a part of the comeback after the fire and rebuilding Union Street,” Cheadle said. “I felt like adding another store is essentially enriching Uptown Athens shopping more than what we already have.”
The rest of the street’s construction will come to an end relatively soon, Guy Philips, an Athens HotLink Housing commercial rental property owner, said.
Although the initial target date was set for the beginning of 2017, realistically, the project will draw to a close in February 2017, Philips said.
To students like Logan Rose, a fifth-year senior studying accounting who lives in the new apartments on West Union Street, the construction has seemed never-ending.
“They seem like they’re taking their time with it,” Rose said. “My mom was on campus earlier, and she said that it seemed like it was taking forever to get done.”
Rose said his roommate — whose room faces the street — has reported loud noises due to the construction, though life on West Union has its upsides, too, such as the proximity to classes and Court Street.
“Most of our classes are in Copeland, so it’s the best location,” Rose said. “I never thought I’d be living near Court Street. It was a 10-month lease, so we got to save on two months of rent.”
Rose and his roommates are the first to live in the apartment, owned by Best of Athens Rentals.
Philips said while it may seem like the project is taking a long time, his team has been working tirelessly for the amount of work that needs to be done.
“Everybody moves as quickly as possible, and it’s a big project,” Philips said. “I think it’s moving along pretty quickly considering the loss of five or six buildings, and we’re getting them all replaced.”
Rebuilding of The Union Bar and Grill was completed in May, but there will be more additions to the buildings on West Union Street in the upcoming year. The Ohio University Credit Union will occupy one storefront, and a restaurant will move into another. The name of the restaurant has yet to be unveiled to the public.
“I’ve seen their other restaurants, and I’ve got friends who are familiar with the other restaurants, and they love it, and they think it will be a great fit for Athens,” Philips said of the unnamed location and its owner. “It’ll cater to university students and townspeople alike.”