Setting The Standard
Jon Goldfarb says he absolutely hated sitting behind a desk, so he decided to build things. He doesn’t mind a little dirt and a lot of hard work.
Living primarily in Charleston for the past 20-years, he has a penchant for turning residential and commercial projects into something purpose-centered. The Standard on Main—1530 Main Street, Newberry, to be exact—is his newest and most recently completed project.
Formerly known as the Mower Building, The Standard on Main is one of the hottest and trendiest structures against Newberry’s downtown skyline. Standard Oil Company owned the land years ago, and Goldfarb says its namesake adds to the nostalgia and hopefully sets the bar high for a typical day in Newberry.
The 28,000 square foot building from the 1930’s was originally built as an automobile assembly plant that was later used as a car dealership. Largely vacant for years, Goldfarb says he found it at the right time.
“My wife and I drive through Newberry on our way to the mountains. We’ve always thought there are a lot of interesting things here—from the Opera House to restaurants—and it just so happened that my business partner and I were looking for projects when I found out the Mower Building was for sale.”
Conversations focused on mechanisms that enhance and improve other small towns in the United States.
“We started talking about what we thought would make it work economically. We thought it was viable. We saw a ground-swelling in Newberry and wanted to add onto—and be part of—all the good things that Newberry already has going for it.”
Unique and original to the building is its vehicle lift—a 20’ x 10’ lift designed to hoist finished and unfinished cars up and down for maintenance and repairs. The lift now serves as a loading dock for transportation of furniture and other belongings to the second floor.
With abundant natural lighting and outstanding views of the downtown area, newer windows replaced original rectangular windows about 15-years earlier. Unfortunate from a structural standpoint…? Perhaps, but the oversized windows look amazing from the inside while adding a stylish flair of modernization to the outside. Transom windows offer additional lighting.
The buildings tagline—Live, Work, Play in Downtown—is exactly what Goldfarb hopes to create for tenants.
Converting the upstairs into eleven apartments and the first floor into commercial rentals, the building boasts of antiquity and brilliance.
Paired with his wife’s intelligent details and color combinations, they’ve managed to create some pretty spaces. “Amanda has been here a lot, adding her imagination. She’s the designer. She does a lot behind the scenes and is a real active presence.”
All apartments have popular loft themes with 14-foot high ceilings, huge windows and exposed concrete. All exterior walls have been uncovered and returned to their original block.
Quartz countertops shine beside painted cabinets of differing grays, accents of shiplap add warmth, stainless steel appliances, light fixtures and bronze-colored sconces, sparkle.
The almost 100-year old cement floors came back to life by grinding out dirt and applying a clear coat sealant to give it a highly polished and wet look. “We kind of lucked out with the floors,” says Goldfarb, “It turned out to be this really cool brown. You’d normally only get that kind of look by adding stain.”
The Standard on Main indulges tenants with extra pleasures of reserved parking, controlled building access, a golf-cart charging station, and individual storage units.
A short half mile stroll on the sidewalks of Main Street will take you to Amanda’s newly opened corridor art gallery—The Carpenter Gallery—home to exquisite pieces from Italy. Goldfarb says he believes this storefront—adjacent to Elizabeth’s on Main—will add more interest to downtowns well-established art theme.
Drenched in sweat after a workout at The Standard, and sitting at a table at Figaro Market, Goldfarb says he’s already made friendships here, not just business allies, but people with whom he shares dinner and a conversation. He says he and Amanda will continue to split their time between Newberry and Charleston, because they’ve found Newberry comfortable and welcoming.
“The vibrancy of ecosystems,” he says, “It draws people in and makes the whole downtown come alive. It’s necessary to be successful. We’re excited to be part of the movement.”
Photographs by Ted B. Williams.