Ariel view of Factory

By Mark Maroney

The Pajama Factory, a city-based creative incubator used by the artistic community, recently received a $2 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for additional proposed construction.

Owner Mark Winkelman proposes up to a $4.5 million repurposing of the factory at 1307 Park Ave. with a restaurant, which will have rooftop dining, additional paved parking spaces, lofts for work/living and a rain garden to help with stormwater runoff.

Over the past decade or so, the factory has provided work space for artists in a variety of formats. There is also a small coffee shop at the lower level, Way Cool Beans — a gathering spot to have a cup of java and chat with some friends or listen to music. Winkelman said the restaurant will have a similar “vibe.

The grant was awarded by the State Office of Budget as a way to repurpose the facility into more of a mixed-use approach.

He would like to see initial construction begin in winter. For tax credit purposes, the project is to be done in two years.

I believe that one of the reasons the Pajama Factory was selected is because we have consistently expressed a vision for broad economic development with the Factory playing a central and driving role in that vision,” Winkelman said.

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