The Grant is a mixed-use business incubator for design and arts-related businesses, a place where small business owners can collaborate, share resources and knowledge, and meet with their clients in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. The Grant is not a sterile office building – instead it is a reinvented former W.T. Grant department store (est. 1934) built at the turn of the century and complete with its own character, such as high stamped tin ceilings, steel columns, wood floors, atrium-style skylights, and wrought iron staircases. Its amenities are modern and suited for the small business owner, with a shared conference area available to all tenants, shared kitchen area, and broadband wireless/10 Base T internet connections. Design professionals will be able to collaborate in the conference area or atrium space, or close their doors to work in private.
In addition to the first floor office space, two retail storefronts – one cafe and one arts-related educational center – occupy the prominent street-fronts. A furniture and antique store and a BMX/Bike shop uses space in the basement, as well as other studios.
The Grant is being developed by two-like minded creative people. Michael Lozano is an architect and planner managing Real Estate Development for Greater Elmwood Neighborhood services, a non-profit community development corporation in South Providence, which builds and renovates historic properties for low income residents. J. Hogue owns and runs his own graphic design firm, Highchair designhaus, and also runs the pro-bono website ArtInRuins.com.Both have always wanted to reinvent a historic building.
J says: "Being a designer myself in a small two person shop, I’ve always wanted to set up more of a collaborative space… a place where a bunch of creative professionals could have office space and share the things that we all need, like internet, a copier, a conference room, and a kitchen. A place where you can pop in and get another designer's opinion; a place where if you hit the wall; your neighbor would understand; a place to be creative and to collaborate when needed."
Pawtucket Preservation Society awarded TwoFifty, LLC, a 2008 Recognition Award for Neighborhood Revitalization because of their work to restore 250 Main Street.