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Worthington Investment Network makes first purchase

The former Rickbeil’s Hardware building at the corner of Third Avenue and NInth Street has been purchased by Worthington Investment Network. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Investment Network (WIN) has purchased a building on the corner of Ninth Street and Third Avenue, with the intent to lease it to a new business.

The space is intended to house a new brewery. More details on the deal will be revealed in the coming weeks once the lease is signed.

“Were pretty excited because it is our first purchase, and we hope it’s one of many projects we’ll be accomplishing,” said Alan Oberloh, WIN president.

The 6,400-square-foot building has been unoccupied for nearly two decades. It was home to Rickbeil’s Hardware before the store closed due to smoke damage from a nearby fire.

WIN will restore the building to look like new with major interior and exterior renovations. On the inside, the space will have an “industrial feel,” with exposed rafters and brick walls. On the outside, the entryway will be revamped and large glass windows will cover the facade.  

“It’ll be a very big improvement to the area,” Oberloh said.

Since WIN was started in February, the group has accrued more than 25 members and around $300,000 in assets. The group’s primary plan is to purchase lots and buildings, and lease them to businesses that are otherwise unnerved by the large up-front costs associated with a new building.