In an era when it is often easier to raze and rebuild, it is refreshing when someone steps up and instead chooses to restore and renovate. Todd Stubbe, the new owner of the former Dils Department Store on Market Street, is breathing new life into a building that has long stood under-utilized in Downtown Parkersburg.
Todd, a working musician (half of duo Cradle & Grave) and now managing partner of The Dils Center LLC, had been looking for a historic building in which to build new loft apartments. Between the name recognition and the value per square foot, Todd said choosing the Dils building was a no-brainer.
“The Dils Brothers Department Store operated from 1900 through 1988,” said Todd, offering an abbreviated history of the iconic building. “The Market Street frontage was constructed in the late 1800s. Somewhere along the way, the fourth floor was added, and the Sixth Street buildings were added to the mix. The Dils Center now makes a big “L” around the unaffiliated MOVRC building at 6th and Market Streets.”
Parkersburg provides a great opportunity for investment growth. The Dils Center is quite a gem.
Todd has called the Mid-Ohio Valley home since 1982, living on both sides of the river. “My wife and I moved from a loft apartment on Front Street in Marietta a year ago, to our home in the Julia-Anne Historic District in Parkersburg,” he said. “After much real estate shopping and analysis, Parkersburg provides a great opportunity for investment growth. The Dils Center is quite a gem.”Despite the theory that many of Parkersburg’s historic buildings are beyond saving, Todd believes Parkersburg has the potential to make these buildings truly a unique draw for the city. “Our historic buildings are priceless, irreplaceable structures that provide unique experiences for our community,” he said. These buildings are what give the city its character and keep its heritage alive for future generations to enjoy.
Downtown is on its way to a big comeback.
Inspired by the revitalization happening downtown, Todd plans to establish The Dils Center as a music venue and destination for events. “Downtown is on its way to a big comeback,” he said. “The vibe brought to downtown by The Coffee Bar and the Parkersburg Brewing Company particularly reeled me in.”
Todd has big dreams for The Dils Center. The center is currently booking events in the ballroom, with the underground (basement) music venue opening up soon. Upper floors include office space and eventually, loft apartments. “I’m signing new commercial leases with creative entrepreneurs for office space just about every week,” Todd said. “I expect the second floor to be completely full by the end of summer, if not sooner.” There are currently nine businesses occupying the second floor, including Deb Lorentz Photography, Spencer Imageworks, Studio6 Yoga, MOV Massage, Anchors & Arrows, Charles Stalnaker, Backyard Pros, a speech therapist, and a Legalshield representative.
Although he may be a newcomer the development scene, Todd is bringing an infectious energy to the downtown Parkersburg, one quickly embraced by the creative community. In an interview with Michelle at Hold The Note, he said he felt encouraged by the response to more events coming to downtown, saying “the feedback and support for live music has been an exponential snowball of awesomeness.”