An old train depot in the heart of Madisonville used to carry the flow of passengers in and out of the city. But after being left vacant for years crews are working to make the old train stop a place where new ideas will flow instead.
An old train depot, long out of commission, but still a prime piece of real estate. The City of Madisonville, unsure of what to do with it, turned it over to the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation.
The EDC team took a trip around Kentucky and the rest of the U.S. to see what might best fit in the historic place.
EDC VP Ruthann Padgett said, “We did some best practice research and said what’s working well in your area as far as entrepreneurial development and try to see if we could bring anything back.”
What they found was startup incubators across the Bluegrass and nation, each harboring a flow of ideas they hope may come to Madisonville.
“We’re calling it the Innovation Station and it will be a startup facility for startups and existing industries and co-working space we’re using it to build creativity collaboration and start new businesses in the area,” Padgett said.
The building is still under construction, but that hasn’t stopped folks from lining up for a shot to work in the Innovation Station.
Business owners like local public relations writer Eric Nance Woehler will be among the up-to 40 people working and growing in the space.
After working from home for the past 19 years Eric is hoping working from the Innovation Station will be able to expand his horizons.
There are times where I have to work in a quiet space and sometimes I do much better make more hay when I’m among people and so I just thought of having the draw of regularly being around other different people so what that does to my business and see what kind of ideas it creates event just for my own productivity,” Nance said.
The creation of the Innovation Station is just another milestone for an upcoming area with people hoping to make lasting contributions to their community.
“I think Madisonville over the last couple of years has really grown the culture around entrepreneurial has grown and is being highly supported in the area and I think it stands behind the city and the county that they’re actively supporting entrepreneurship in this area,” said Ruthann.
The Economic Development team is hoping for a late September or early October launch.