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Big bash set for empty furniture store

Renovations to begin soon on new home of 10 Carden Street

Now that the furniture is cleared out of 42 Carden Street there’s room for a really big party.

Historic Acker’s Furniture is no more. The funky old, duel-façade building - it faces Carden on the south side and Macdonell Street on the north – will soon be overhauled to make room for “10C”, the new location of the organization 10 Carden Street.

April 15 was the closing date on the building’s purchase, and about $2.5 million in renovation work will begin almost immediately. But first there is going to be a party on April 16, said 10 Carden co-founder Julia Grady.

“We are celebrating 10 Carden purchasing and beginning the redevelopment on the building, and creating a little bit more community awareness around that,” she said. “As Acker’s moved out there’s a pretty big space in there, but not a lot of people have been in and thought of it as a meeting space. So this will be the first time for us to introduce it as a community space.”

The bash will feature a number of well-known Guelph musical acts, including rockers The Kramdens, folk-singer Tannis Slimmon, and folkies Funky Mamas, along with Lewis Melville, and Thunderbird.

Tickets to the licensed event are $20, and are available through Eventbrite. There will be two food vendors at the event.

10 Carden launched a community bond program to help fund the project, raising about $400,000 on an initial offering. It is also initiating a second bond offering to individuals and organizations.

“There will be a little bit of work done next week, and then in earnest the following week,” Grady said, speaking of the renovations. “We’re just waiting on permits and things. Construction runs through April until probably the end of October.”

Since the building’s use is being changed, Grady explained previously, it will have to be entirely upgraded to current building codes.

There are a number of tenants lined up to move into the building once it is ready, including the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, Guelph Arts Council, and a University of Guelph community classroom.

“We are wildly excited,” Grady said. “It’s been a lot of work. Part of the financing has been through community bonds, and we’re really happy about the community bonds uptake. Regular citizens thought this was a worthwhile project for the not-for-profit sector in the downtown, and something to be talking about.”

10 Carden is a community hub that offers affordable and accessible shared space to various organizations. The current location was not meeting physical accessibility and inclusiveness needs. The new space will do that.