The Cassco Ice House complex is a landmark in downtown Harrisonburg. Built in 1934, it has been a focal point of Harrisonburg’s urban core for over 75 years. The building is located at 125 West Bruce Street and 217 South Liberty Street and sits on slightly over 2 acres in area. The site has excellent downtown connectivity – it is approximately two blocks south west of the Harrisonburg central business district and City Hall, and less than 2 blocks north of James Madison University’s (JMU) expanding campus. The site is adjacent to multiple bus and bicycle routes (existing and planned), numerous cultural venues and historic structures, the regional Farmers Market and significant off-site parking resources.
The redevelopment of the former Cassco Ice House will build upon on-going revitalization efforts as well as spur the potential for additional historic renovation projects in the City’s core. The central element of the redevelopment of this property is the inclusion of well established, locally owned and operated businesses expanding their operations into the newly renovated Ice House.
Strengthened by expanding micro-manufacturing businesses and offices , the Ice House will also feature the creation of 34 apartments. The Cassco complex is identified as a “contributing property” by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in the determination of the Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District.
City staff believes the development of the Ice House bears the greatest potential to expand the City’s revitalization efforts and spur economic growth. The City of Harrisonburg encourages revitalization and developments
such as the Ice House by committing resources, staff time, and tax abatements. The Ice House represents the quintessential redevelopment and reuse of a property the City wants to encourage.
The City supported the application and utilization of IRF funds for the Ice House because of the potential
economic development driver it represents. The owners and developers of the former Cassco property
have led the way in downtown revitalization by creating opportunities for downtown living in previous
successful projects that include the City Exchange and Urban Exchange. Both of these previous
projects included mixed-use residential, retail and restaurant spaces and represent an evolution of the historic downtown as a place to work, eat, shop and recreate.
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