Former Factory Gets New Life as Condos, Retail Space

Dickson-Jenkins Lofts and Plaza

A former-farm clothing manufacturing facility turns into residential and retail space — now open for business.

by Marissa Alvarado

The long-awaited Dickson-Jenkins Lofts & Plaza celebrated its grand opening Sept. 1 at 201 S. St. Louis Ave.

Formerly known as the Dickson-Jenkins Manufacturing Company, the 1920s structure once served as a farm clothing production facility. Since the 1960s, Branch-Smith Printing owned the building until the developer, Ed Vanston (known for other Near Southside projects like the Miller Lofts and Supreme Golf Warehouse), bought the property and converted it to residential and retail space.

According to listing agent Jennifer Franke, the building is currently 60 percent occupied. The Dickson-Jenkins Lofts & Plaza includes 21 residential condos, eight commercial spaces for sale, and 10 commercial spaces for lease. The complex creates a U-shape, and in the middle is a park with trees, benches and patios.

Some of the businesses include Leaves Book & Tea Shop, Megan Thorne Fine Jewels, Kellyn Dean Interior Design, Crittenden the Studio, and Philip Newburn Architecture.

“It is its own little artistic village,” Franke said. “When you look at the people and businesses that are going in there, everybody is in someway art-related.”

Another tenant, Record Town — one of the nation’s oldest vinyl stores — moved from its location on South University, where it had stood for the past 60 years, to the Dickson-Jenkins Lofts & Plaza. There will also be a nonprofit art gallery, Art Room, that will include a classroom for children around the county to take art classes on the premises.

“I am extremely proud and excited that there are so many artistic and creative businesses going into this development,” Franke said. “It is way more than I had hoped for.”