Putnam Commons at 121 Putnam St. is the home to a few new businesses as well as offering newly remodeled spaces for people hoping to branch out on their own.
“We are a small business for other small businesses,” said Levi Holbert, property manager of Putnam Commons.
Holbert said there are currently four businesses and a nonprofit located on the first floor of the building and the site is ready for more customers. He also said that newly remodeled areas on the second and third floors are available for entrepreneurs to occupy.
“There is newly remodeled space in the front of the building on the second floor,” he said.
Holbert also said after a prospective tenant decided not to lease from them, the entire third floor of the building is also available to rent.
The future of the commons wasn’t always so bright. During November of 2016, business owners began leaving the commons due to fears of mismanagement of the property by the building’s owner, Roger Anderson. That December, the building was closed after a frozen water line ruptured, flooding the basement. The building wasn’t opened again until November of 2017 after the fire alarm and sprinkler systems were brought up to code. Holbert said he was pleased with how all the renovations have turned out.
Cafe 121 is the first store to the right when walking into the commons and serves wraps and sandwiches.
“The cafe doesn’t really have set hours,” said Holbert. “But it is mainly open during lunch.”
Next to the cafe is Books on Putnam. According to the store’s manager, Dyrk Lang, the used bookstore has more than 3,000 titles to choose from.
“We even have 300 hard cover books for sale here,” he said.
Since becoming manager a month ago, Lang said he has been working hard to make the store more easily accessible to its customers.
“The only real organization was that one room was fiction, the other non-fiction,” he said.
Lang said after reorganization, people will now have an easier time finding the specific genre of book they are looking for.
Across the hall is a new store, Kratom Vibes. The store offers the southeast Asian plant Kratom, ground to a powder. Josh Turner, owner of the store, said he sells the plant as an incense.
“It hasn’t met with FDA approval yet,” he said. “So it isn’t meant for human consumption.”
Turner said the plant has been used for thousands of years in the Orient as tea and even the leaves are chewed raw by the people who live there.
In a report published by the Mayo Clinic on May 17, researchers confirmed Turner’s history of the plant, but said there were no known benefits to the health of humans. The report even spoke about adverse side effects like nausea and headaches when it was used in conjunction with some medications.
Next to Kratom Vibes is LH Digital Technologies. Holbert, who also owns the business, said his store is a one-stop shop for anyone’s computer and digital needs.
David Carrol works there and said they offer a wide variety of services.
“We’ve been in business since the beginning of the year,” he said. “We offer all networking services to include security and graphic design. We can even do video editing.”
Tree Water Initiative is a nonprofit organization located in the very back of the building on the first floor. Jeannie Amash is its executive director and said they try and promote peace between Palestine and Israel in a unique way.
“We plant trees in Gaza and on the West Bank,” she said.
She said they plant olive trees there for two reasons.
“Olive tree branches are the international sign of peace,” she said. “Also, they are a vital source of economic sustainability for the people of Palestine.”
Amash said that they are currently raising funds by selling football helmet shaped electric guitars to get the money necessary to make the strife-filled land more green.
“Each guitar sold will plant 12 trees and contribute to a greenhouse,” she said.
She said the guitars come in several colors and multiple face masks to make them customizable for a fan of any team. She said they not only sound good, but also look great in any man cave and the purchases are tax deductible.
She said if people call her and set up a time to pick up their guitar, they will be $159. They can also be purchased online with shipping included for $200.
For more information about Amash’s organization or to purchase a guitar call 740-538-8806, or visit their website at treewaterinitiative.org.
At a glance
•What: Putnam Commons.
•Where: 121 Putnam St.
•Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
•Stores: Books on Putnam, Cafe 121, Kratom Vibes, LH Digital Technologies and the Tree Water Initiative.
Source: Levi Holbert.