Call Us  (517) 219-7975

Home » News » The Heart of Howell is Full!

The Heart of Howell is Full!

From left, Joe Parker, Courtney Tarara and Cathleen Edgerly look over design plans in the Heart of Howell building. (Photo: Noe Hernandez)

From left, Joe Parker, Courtney Tarara and Cathleen Edgerly look over design plans in the Heart of Howell building.
(Photo: Noe Hernandez)

These buildings were vacant for a collective 13 years before Heart of Howell purchased them, and after 3 years of renovations, we are so excited to be full!  We have made a home for 8 businesses, and we are so happy with the family we have created here.  These businesses have brought a lot of foot traffic to the downtown with 60 full-time and 26 part-time employees working out of the Heart of Howell Complex.

Please read the latest article below from the Livingston Daily.

$2 million renovation project nears end

A commercial building in downtown Howell with the perfect name for anyone looking to set up shop in the heart of town is full of businesses for the first time in three years.

The Heart of Howell building, under new ownership and a $2 million renovation project for the past three years, inked the last of eight tenants this month.

“It started out as a labor of love, and to see it come to fruition after three years is an amazing feeling,” project manager Courtney Tarara said Monday. “It is exactly what we set out for, which was bringing a destination location to downtown Howell.”

Tarara’s father, Joe Parker, purchased the Heart of Howell for $600,000 in 2012 and quickly set out to improve on his investment.

Parker first worked with a structural engineer to connect the three buildings that make up the Heart of Howell, then replaced all electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, added an elevator to make all four floors handicap accessible, and knocked down and rebuilt two basement walls.

He also added a grass courtyard in back, which 2FOG’s Pub, one of the tenants, will use to serve more customers when it’s not freezing outside. Parker also hired a local artist to paint a farm scene mural to keep the building’s connection to Howell.

“I like that it got to where we wanted to go,” Parker said. “It’s got a little L.A., Chicago, New York feel.

“We did it without losing the feeling for the original buildings,” he added.

Silverstone Jewelry, EnCore 118 and a yet-to-be revealed restaurant, which Tarara only would say will offer the public a variety of ethnic cuisine, have front door entrances.

Customers will have to walk around to the back of the building to access 2FOG’s Pub in the basement, and hop on the new elevator to get to SoulShine Yoga; The Loft, an eco-friendly salon; and C&B Machinery on the second floor.

Your Peace of Mind, a property management company, operates on the third floor.

2FOG’s — already popular for its deviled eggs, gourmet pretzels, Vienna hot dogs, chili mac and cheese, and other menu items — is adding a full kitchen and event room, possibly this year.

SoulShine Yoga opens in two months.

Nearly 60 full-time and 26 part-time employees work in the building, which by modest estimates attracts more than 100 visitors a day.

“The Heart of Howell building represents a significant investment in our community, and it really represents the perfect balance between conserving our past and continuing to move the downtown forward,” Howell Main Street Downtown Development Authority Director Cathleen Edgerly said. “Not only is it the Parker family investing, but it has increased economic impact by the businesses that choose to move to the Heart of Howell.”

Contact Livingston County Daily business reporter Noe Hernandez at 517-552-2854 or nhernandez@livingstondaily.com. Follow him on Twitter @sayyesnoe.