BizBeat: The Millbottom debuts as event venue

By Rebecca Martin

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The former Ameren power plant in Jefferson City’s Millbottom area is nearing total renovation, and kicked off the newest phase of its more than 100-year existence last Thursday with an event hosted by the Discover Jefferson City Foundation.

The development team of Ron Dawson, Dick Otke, Jason Otke, Gary Oberkrom and Tim Hayden now are marketing The Millbottom’s largest space — the 4,700-square-foot room where the power plant’s boilers once operated — as an event venue.

“It really lends itself as an event space,” Dawson said of the expansive area that features a huge arched window, exposed steel beams and overhead crane original to the power plant. He and the development team previously discussed marketing the space for other uses.

The developers have added an indoor/outdoor bar as well as a caterer’s kitchen with commercial refrigeration, caterer’s sinks and other equipment; and a mezzanine level adds another 800 square feet of space to the venue. They have also purchased tables and chairs for use at events held there.

Although a few finishing touches remain before the renovation is complete, The Millbottom already has several corporate-type events and a few weddings on the books. The developers might also consider hosting a Fourth of July event, as The Millbottom’s back patio has a clear, closeup view of Jefferson City’s annual fireworks show.

“It’s game on now,” Dawson said.

The Millbottom welcomed its first retail tenant, Red Wheel Bike Shop, in February. Two additional spaces are available for lease: a 1,500-square-foot commercial loft above the bike shop suitable for office use and a 325-square-foot outbuilding that the developers envision for a food vendor.