A new restaurant is being planned for a historic building in downtown Seymour.
The former Knights of Pythias Hermion Lodge 44 building at 103 N. Chestnut St. has been sold by Seymour Main Street.
The organization purchased it five years ago for $15,500 to “flip” in an effort to help revitalize buildings and attract more businesses downtown.
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Seymour Main Street listed the property with Mike Kopp, a real estate broker with RE/MAX FIRST Commercial Group in Jeffersonville, and it sold in May for $159,150.
“The new owner and investor invited me to bring him a tenant,” Kopp said. “I have now secured a letter of intent for a new restaurant.”
That business is expected to open this fall, he said. The owners weren’t ready to reveal many details about the new venture, including what type of food will be served, but are excited to become a part of downtown Seymour, Kopp said.
Kopp specializes in working with small, independent businesses and investors, and has seen much success in helping revitalize downtown areas in New Albany and Jeffersonville.
New Albany now boasts 164 businesses that have developed during the past 8½ years, Kopp said.
More than 90 percent of those businesses can be linked back to Kopp.
He was one of several people responsible for bringing Rails Craft Brew and Eatery to downtown Seymour in 2015 and for the recent opening of a second Rails location in Clarksville.
Other communities in southern Indiana that Kopp is helping improve and grow include Scottsburg, Corydon, Brownstown and Madison.
The 10,793-square-foot Knights of Pythias building sits between Tiemeier’s Jewelry Store and Bullwinkle’s Family Restaurant. There are two upstairs floors, which are unfinished.
Seymour Main Street put a lot of work and money into rehabbing the building façade, including restoring historic stained glass windows. The group also did demolition work on the second and third floors.
Grant dollars from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and money from the Seymour Redevelopment Commission funded the rehabilitation project. Also, money from the sale of another downtown building owned by Seymour Main Street was used.
The building was erected in 1887 and most recently served as the location for a model railroad exhibit and origami silver cranes art exhibit organized by Seymour Main Street.
Kopp serves on the Seymour Main Street board and owns three buildings in downtown Seymour himself.
Last month, he helped lease a property, 113 W. Second St., to a retail boutique called Quirky Living, which will open soon, he said.
“I love historic downtowns,” Kopp said. “Most people want something to happen downtown. It’s not going to be like it used to be, but there can be more residential, more retail and more recreational opportunities downtown. It can be new and different, and that’s what I try to do.”