The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a site plan for the Ideation Station to allow part of the first floor to be converted into a single-family residence.
Currently, the building is utilized as a mixed-use building with office lease space, co-working space and art galleries among other uses.
“Ideation station is a partnership with me and my husband in this building,” Owner Ruth Williamson said. “What I want to do is help entrepreneurs, artists and people who want to work remotely.”
Williamson said she currently has 10 tenants at the site ranging from a security company to an immigration lawyer and several therapists. The building is decorated with pieces from local artists and the Ghost Town Arts Collective maintains space and a dark room on site.
“We are cultural artists in the broadest of senses,” she said.
Williamson and designer Jared Tredway presented plans to convert a portion of the building facing Travis Street into a 1,500 square-foot residence. Williamson said the residence would be used by her and her husband at first, but she would like to eventually use it for an artist in residence or as a bed and breakfast.
“As older people, we are looking for downsizing space,” Williamson said.
The designs also included a new front facade that would improve the front of the facility without taking away the commercial nature and history of the building. The plans also call for a rooftop terrace that will only be accessible from the residence.
The request also included a variance to allow bleached, stated and sealed red cedar as an accent material for the enclosed garden instead of the required masonry screening.
City staff noted that residences are usually kept in the rear of a mixed-used building, but the Ideation Station would instead have it against Travis. Tredway said the situation was unusual in that the primary entrance faces Jones Street despite it having multiple entrances.
“Because of the unique site at the corner of the two streets, the frontage and the main entrance have been on Jones Street for several years now,” he said.
The request was unanimously approved with little discussion by the commission.