A forgotten piece of Edmond history is making a comeback thanks to two business associates who are bringing it back to life.
Chip Fudge and Brandon Lodge are developing plans for the Edmond Rail Spur District development consisting of a five-building project on the west side of Edmond’s railroad tracks on 2nd Street commonly known as the Ice House project.
It will include different restaurants and an open area for dining and entertainment. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2020.
For work to begin on the old Edmond Ice Co. creamery and stables, Fudge was required to get approval by the National Park Service, since the two are on the historic preservation list.
“The ball is still in our court,” Lodge said. “We need to get the final designs submitted and final site submitted to the City of Edmond for review and approval. We are wanting to make sure we are doing everything that is compliant with that. We want the project to be family-friendly. We want it to have something for everybody. We want to make it a real inviting atmosphere for people to come and hang out and stay for a while.”
Lodge said they plan to do the renovations at the same time.
“The plan is to rehab all of the buildings on site including the historic buildings and do it all simultaneously,” Lodge said. “There is going to be a higher-end restaurant in the ice house building. We are going to have a craft cocktail lounge with good food in the middle building that will be a more casual environment. We are working with the brewery which will be in the far west building on the property and will be a great anchor for the project. We are also talking to people about another good, local food establishment in the final building.”
The City of Edmond is providing up to $700,000 in incentives that will put in 99 parking spaces, with most of them along Second Street.
“Oklahoma has an unfortunate history of tearing down historically significant buildings, and replacing it with something new or putting a parking lot on it,” Lodge said. “It is very important to preserve what we have. Redoing those historic buildings is really expensive. When it’s all said and done, millions of dollars will have been invested to bring these buildings back to life.”
Lodge said the Rail Spur Development will help fill a void in Edmond.
“The city of Edmond has an appetite for this kind of project filled with local businesses and operators,” he said. “I think we see a lot of Edmond citizens leave and go to Oklahoma City to spend their money (for food and entertainment). I think there is an appetite that hasn’t been filled yet. The Patriarch and Evoke are perfect examples of what the citizens of Edmond want.”
Lodge said he is hopeful their project will spur other nearby projects.
“This may ignite other projects on the west side of the tracks where everything has been forgotten about,” he said. “This project has already spurred several other projects in the works. I hope it sparks a revival of art downtown and brings in interesting local businesses. I think there is a lot of potential in downtown Edmond to be a fun and cool place to go.”