Last week we met with Brent Cochran to discuss the work he and Ed Walker are doing on the Salem Body Shop. Cochran stated, “The project is on time to have tenants move in starting in April, with pre-leasing to start in March.” He went on to describe what the building will look like, “There will be fourteen apartments upstairs and four downstairs. There are also two restaurants, with different concepts, going in downstairs. We are refinishing the old car elevator, and fixing it into the main stairway to upstairs. All of the historic beams will be exposed to keep a really nice look and feel to the apartments. In the back, there will be a courtyard for outdoor seating and a parking area. It’s going to look really nice.”
When asked why they wanted to get involved with Salem he responded, “We were really looking for more opportunity. We do historic renovations, so we wanted historic buildings in good condition. Salem has that and is in a great location. The city is well taken care of, has a great small government, top schools, popular for sporting events, and all around a great community. The community is key in what we do. Without a good community our projects wouldn’t work.” He continued with, “I love working with small cities, and Salem has been so accommodating and easy to work with. It feels more like a partnership. Salem wants good work, and so do we.” They want to keep the community involved in their projects. The renovation duo held public forums for the community to have a platform to talk and see their ideas, for the buildings.
Cochran seemed excited about the work they have going on in the old Salem Body Shop. He is looking forward to the next projects on the Peacock Laundry building and the Valleydale building. This is one of the many steps that is springing Salem forward into new growth.