The latest installment of “Project Revitalize” in downtown Hollister is nearly complete after the Epicenter opened its doors last week.
Community Foundation for San Benito County President/CEO Gary Byrne was the official tour guide Feb. 12, allowing the public to get a sneak peek of the new building.
Byrne said the feedback from the community has been positive and they feel it’s a great addition to downtown. He also mentioned it’ll bring a lot of foot traffic for meetings and events.
“It really complements the downtown, it doesn’t stand out and yet, when you walk in it is very modern… very bright and nice inside,” Byrne said.
Byrne mentioned the Epicenter has a lot of similarities that resemble the Vault building located next door, which was something they meant to do. Both buildings have skirting and marble, and the Epicenter also has tall windows that were shipped from Oregon.
“We wanted to blend and we didn’t want to stick out,” Byrne said.
The space will foster and encourage collaboration between various organizations serving the diverse community, according to Byrne.
They broke ground on the two-story, 10,000 square-foot building on the 400 block of San Benito Streete Sept. 22, 2020. Local builders Darin and Derek Del Curto of Del Curto Brothers Construction took on the project, which was made possible by a generous donation by Randy and Rebecca Wolf.
Byrne expects the Epicenter to be fully furnished soon and they’ll be ready to move in during the first week of March. Some of the rooms still need computers and they’re expecting some patio furniture for the plaza located at the back.
“Make it look friendly and usable for the nonprofits that are going to use it,” Byrne said.
There’s room for up to 18 nonprofits but the building will not be used as a service center, which means they won’t be meeting with clients. Instead, it’ll be full of administration positions.
The Epicenter features a convention center that can hold up to 80 people and an extra 100 people with the nano doors open. Byrne said it’s an opportunity for midsize gatherings.
There’s also a boardroom and two extra meeting spaces, giving the building four public meeting spaces on the plaza. Byrne added that it’s hard to find meeting space in town and they’ve already received inquiries for use of the space.
The 400 Block project, which is a three-story building that will feature retail and 22 residential spaces along with a rooftop garden, is going to be a compliment next to the Epicenter.
The steel girders are installed and the walls will go up in the next couple of weeks, but that building won’t be expected to open until 18 months from now.
Byrne said he’s excited, and hopeful, that these projects will bring people downtown to attend events and eat at local restaurants.
“The whole purpose of us building it downtown was to help be part of the revitalization, but we’re only one small part,” he said. “It’s all a little part of revitalizing and bringing life back to our great downtown.”