EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – From biscuits and boxes to brand new beds. You might drive right 401 Northwest Second Street in downtown Evansville without a second thought.

This address may be hard to miss come spring next year. The old building is writing a new chapter in its history, and you better come hungry.

The bones were built in 1895 near the intersection of Ingle Street. It was home to the National Biscuit Company; you know it as Nabisco. It was filled with heavy machinery for their cookies and snack-making.

Years later, Geiger Moving and Storage used it as a warehouse and called it home until Michael Martin bought it in 2017.

“You just don’t realize the significance of these old structures until you go in and look around,” said Martin.

Michael Martin walks through an upstairs loft under construction

Martin is planning 23 for one- and two-bedroom loft apartments to go along with retail and restaurants.

“The building was bricked up and a few modifications to the exterior, and so it’s not until you step inside that it just really gets the blood flowing and you get excited.”

Walls are going up, and Randy Hobson’s vision is taking shape. He owns Pangea Kitchen on the east side. He will run an Asian fusion ramen noodle restaurant and a bakery there.

Geiger Moving and Storage circa 1931 (Source: USI Special Collections)

“People are so much more aggressive as far as it comes to food, and they’re more educated on food these days,” Hobson said. “You know, the world is shrinking.”

Martin says 24-foot ceilings and giant windows embrace the spirit of this building’s 125 years. Rent will range from $800 to $2,500 per month depending on the units, but Martin says the pricing is still being finalized.

There’s plenty of work left to do, and Hobson is also finalizing his menus. He expects the restaurants to open alongside the lofts.

The apartment complex doesn’t have a name yet. Martin says it will likely be put onto a restored water tower being placed on the roof later this week.

From biscuits and boxes to beds, this old place will be home for many more years to come.

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This story was originally published on October 16, 2019