Brian Newton remembers gathering in the basement of the 505 Building in downtown Fremont in December 2019 to celebrate the beginning of the historical building’s transformation.
“We all gathered downstairs,” he said. “It was cold. I remember that it was freezing.”
Now, after more than a year has passed since The Greater Fremont Development Council hosted a nail-tapping ceremony to mark the beginning of development for the Lofts @ 505, work is finally beginning to heat up.
The building will close both lanes of traffic on Fifth Street, the adjacent sidewalks and parking areas from Main Street west to the alley as demolition work inside and outside the building begins.
The closures began on Thursday and are expected to remain in effect through July 2022.
Newton said the city is lucky to have developer Ryan Durant leading the renovation of the historical downtown building.
“We’re really fortunate with Ryan to be able to come forward,” he said. “Ryan’s got experience doing similar projects like this in other cities and so we’re fortunate that he’s coming forward as a developer and willing to step up and do something with 505.”
Newton said the closure will allow for Lund-Ross Constructors, Inc. to address issues with the building’s basement, which extends under the sidewalk and into a portion of the street.
He said the basement ceiling is showing rebar from the street. He chalked up the deterioration to salt and moisture that has come down through the concrete, ultimately damaging it.
“We didn’t feel it was very safe and so the first thing that the contractors will have to do is figure out how to shore up or do something with that portion of concrete that’s underneath the street,” Newton said.
The street closure will also allow for space for the contractor to drop off material and bring in heavy machinery, such as cranes and scaffolding equipment.
Mayor Joey Spellerberg spoke in support of the work that is set to begin on the 505 Building during a Fremont City Council meeting held on July 13.
“I’m looking forward to the 505 building finally getting under construction,” he said. “It’s been years, maybe decades, and to have this day and to get to this point is pretty exciting for downtown Fremont. It’s a great, great project and I’m glad it’s starting. It’ll be great to see what it is when it’s finished.”
The project has faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, the building is expected to open the doors to its 28 apartment units for leasing in Spring 2022, according to the project’s Facebook page.
Although the building has been long unoccupied, the GFDC received LB840 funding from the city to create the Here We Grow Homes Fund.
“That gave us an opportunity to provide services to leverage financing gaps for developers for housing and opportunities downtown,” GFDC Executive Director Garry Clark said in 2019. “So this is what you see here, is shortly after that fund was generated and created by the city council and the City of Fremont, we had this opportunity right here.”
Move-ins are expected to begin next summer.
“Honestly, this project wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support from the community and its leaders,” the Lofts @ 505 Facebook page stated in a July 9 post. “We are honored to have the opportunity to make the 505 a valued asset in the Fremont community once again.”
Newton said he is excited to see the finished product following demolition work and construction.
“Obviously the building has beautiful architecture, so that in itself is just going to be nice,” he said.
This article was corrected at 12:21 p.m. on Thursday, July 22 to remove a statement regarding the location of the 505 Brewing Company. The 505 Brewing Company is located at 349 N. Main St.