Commercial Space For Lease in Grass Valley, CA

Leasing Space in the Historic Alpha Building

Office Space for Lease in Grass Valley, CA
Exposed rock walls, rough sawn beams, and natural
wood floors, dating from the 1860s, can still be seen
in many of the suites within the Alpha Building.

Welcome to the webpage for Grass Valley's Alpha Building.

The Alpha Building is a modern retail and office complex built inside the shell of a gold-rush era structure that has a rich history.  Exposed rock walls, rough sawn beams, and natural wood floors from the 1860s exist in many of the suites, adding to the unique character of the building.  Available suites can often be found on the building's Loopnet.com webpage.

We are located at 204 West Main Street in the heart of downtown Grass Valley, California, just two doors east of the Holbrooke Hotel, a California historical landmark.

A first class restaurant, Taste of Thai, anchors most of the sidewalk frontage of the Alpha Building, and is frequented by our tenants for lunches with clients and for take-out meals.  Many other quality restaurants are located within two blocks.

Brick arch in the Alpha Building, Grass Valley, CA
Brick archway in the main hallway of the Alpha Buildng.

Our 12,000 square foot building offers 18 suites with a large complimentary conference room.  Suites are available for lease starting at 134 square feet.  All suites are ADA accessible and the entire building is equipped with central heating and air, as well as fire suppression sprinklers.  A parking lot for the customers of our tenants is provided in the rear of the building, off of Richardson Street.  The removal of trash and recycling is also provided to our tenants.  Unlike many office buildings in the area, the Alpha Building has on-site building management and maintenance staff.  (For a floor plan of the building, please click here.)

If you are interested in moving your business to a space we have for lease in the Alpha Building, please stop by and take a look at this unique opportunity.  For suites that are available for rent, please call our Alpha Building Leasing Office at (530) 477-6734 or send us a message by using our Contact Us page.  For additional photos please go to our Alpha Building and Alpha Warehouse Photo Gallery page.

Here is a sampling of our current tenants:

 

Alpha Warehouse, Interior Storage Spaces, Grass Valley, CA

Alpha Warehouse: Interior Storage Spaces

Commercial Storage Space for Rent in Grass Valley, CA
Interior storage space is available in the
Alpha Warehouse, through the white roll-up door
on the left side of this image.

We have storage space available in the Alpha Warehouse, located at the rear of the Alpha Building property.  Several of our office tenants in the Alpha Building have rented space in the warehouse so that their stored materials are nearby and quickly accessible.  They find it a better alternative to an off-site storage unit.  Drive by and check out The Alpha Warehouse, 217 Richardson Street, Grass Valley, CA, however the address numbers are not on the warehouse building. 

For a map to the Alpha Warehouse, please click this link: LOCATION OF ALPHA WAREHOUSE.

To see the floor plan of the Alpha Warehouse, please click here: Alpha Warehouse Floor Plan.

Some photos of the Alpha Warehouse are contained on our Alpha Building and Alpha Warehouse Photo Gallery page.

 

The History of Grass Valley, CA (The Alpha Building)

History of  Grass Valley's Alpha Building

Before Alpha Hardware: 1850-1899

Early Postcard Downtown Grass Valley, CA showing the Alpha Building
An early postcard image of the Alpha Building in
Grass Valley.  The Holbrooke Hotel is in the center of the photo.

In the early 1850s, the Alta Saloon and Hall occupied the site where the Alpha Building stands today, but a fire in 1855 devastated the town and destroyed the saloon.  After the fire, a frame building was erected on the front of the property which was occupied by a store and barbershop until 1860.  The building was then purchased by B. F. Woodworth.  Two years later he erected a stone and brick structure using “mine rock” from the local mines. Because all the local timber was being used in the mines, the ceiling joists had to be brought in from Canada.  The stone walls and exposed joists remain an important architectural feature of the building.

For most of the 1860's, until about 1900, the upstairs of the building housed a succession of saloons, with names such as the Snug Harbor and the Military Saloon, while a livery stable occupied the downstairs.

Historic Map of Downtown Grass Valley
Old map of downtown Grass Valley, circa 1898.  What is now the
Alpha Building, then addressed as 94 Main Street, is shown in
red.  Today, it is 204 West Main Street, and has been
expanded towards Richardson Street, into the former wash
shed and carriage house.


The livery stable's first proprietors were miners Henry Scadden and John Trenberth who opened the Grass Valley Livery Stable.  At one point, there were 40 horses stabled in the building along with 20 wagons and various carriages and buggies.  Scadden and Trenberth remained the owners until the early 1870s, when the business was bought by Peter Purcell and his associates, Michael Byrne, Jr. and Thomas Cloke, and renamed Byrne, Cloke & Purcell.

Peter Purcell eventually became sole owner of the business and changed the stable's name again to Fashion Livery.  Mr. Purcell and his family lived in a home he built in 1874 at 119 North Church Street which is now part of the Holbrook Hotel.  He continued to run the business until his retirement at which time his son, William, took over the operation.

1886 Fashion Livery Stable ad An 1886 advertisement for Peter Purcell's
"Fashion Livery Stable." At that time, the
building's address was 94 Main Street.
Post chewed by horse in Alpha Building
Support posts, chewed on by horses when
the Alpha Building was a stable, can still be
seen in parts of the building today. 

Alpha Hardware Company: 1899-1980

The firm that would later become Alpha Hardware Company began in Nevada City in the 1870s.  In 1878 George Turner and Tom Legg took over ownership and operated the store. Turner later left the business and George Shaw became co-partner, in 1900.  The store was then named the Legg and Shaw Company.

Trolly at the Alpha Building 1907, Grass Valley, CA
A streetcar of the Nevada County Traction Company
turns from Mill Street onto Main Street in this 1907
image.  The Alpha Building (then occupied by Alpha Hardware & Supply Co.) is on the right.   From a
postcard in the Southport Land and Commercial
Company Archives.

When Legg died, Shaw managed the store until early 1906.  In that year it was consolidated with a Grass Valley hardware firm, Brady and Cassidy, and became the “Alpha Hardware and Supply Company.”  The new company, now with stores in Grass Valley and Nevada City, was owned by A. F. Brady, George Legg (Tom's son) and Fred F. Cassidy; however, Brady left the business a short time later.  Legg retired in 1920 and turned over controlling interest to Cassidy who managed the firm until 1946.

In 1946, having returned to Grass Valley after serving in World War II, Downey Clinch, along with Bill Briggs and Roy Tremoureux took over ownership for the “cost of the inventory.”  The other investors in the store were Dutch Bremer, of Bremer Hardware in Gridley, Roy Tremoureux, Sr., Ray Clinch and Bernice Glasson.

The new company reported they would continue to modernize their merchandising by providing a wider choice and selection of quality stock together with the “hospitable approach and kindly service attitude,” which had prevailed during the past 40 years of success under the ownership of Mr. Cassidy.

At Alpha Hardware you could still buy the same type of picks, shovels, gold pans and miner's lamps that were used by the miners in the 1870s. Ladies could still find washboards, cherry pitters, butter churns and other kitchen utensils like those used by their great-great grandmothers. In addition to household goods, they also sold industrial equipment including explosives for mining.

Alpha Hardware had customers from all over the world. They sold picks to a building contractor in Washington D.C. who was building a subway, wire and fence posts to a sugarcane farmer in Hawaii, and a barge load of supplies, tools and safety equipment to an Alaskan dam builder.

The Alpha Hardware Company was very successful and, at the time the mines closed in the mid 1950s, they were the largest business in the county employing as many as 35 to 40 people. At one time Alpha Hardware had a total of six stores, located in Allegheny, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn, Gaston and Forest.  The Grass Valley and Nevada City stores were hit hart by the closing of the mines, but they soon found new markets during the boom in the construction industry.  The Auburn store was closed in about 1958 and the Allegheny store was sold to Joe Sbaffi.

In 1970, Downey Clinch bought his partner's shares in the business and became the principal owner.  Clinch continued to run the business until 1977 when, due to a rare eye disease, he was forced to sell the business and retire.  He remained on the Board of Directors, but sold the remaining two stores to Jack Treskes of Nevada City.

Being unable to compete with the large discount stores, Treskes closed the Grass Valley store in about 1980 and ten years later the Nevada City store closed.  However, the explosives division, which was sold off in 1982, continued to do business under the Alpha name until recently.


After Alpha Hardware Closed: 1980-Present

From 1980 until 1999, the building was leased to Sofa Sensations followed by Goodwill Industries.  In 1999, the Seghezzi Family, father Amos with sons Gregory and Michael, bought the Alpha Building.  Shortly after, Amos sold his interest to Gregory and Michael.

Retail space for Lease in Grass Valley, CA
The West Main Street entrance to the Alpha Building
after the 2003-2005 remodel.  Shown is one of the
retail units in the building.  The columns in the photo
are made of cast iron and are rumored to have
originally been part of the National Hotel in
Nevada City.

Starting in 2003, working with architects Lee Hayes and Tom Roman, the Alpha Building underwent a major remodel to reveal and restore the walls, ceilings and floors to their original character.  The building was divided into suites of various square footages to facilitate professional and retail businesses and, for the first time, the building was fitted with heating, air conditioning and fire suppression systems.  During the remodel the old built-in vault from the early days of Alpha Hardware & Supply was made into a kitchenette in one of the office suites.  The locking mechanism was disabled to prevent someone from being locked inside.

Old vault inside Alpha Building, Grass Valley, CA The old vault inside the Alpha Building.




In November 2005, the building received its certificate of occupancy from the City of Grass Valley and has 18 commercial suites located within its 12,000 square feet.  In 2008 Gregory Seghezzi sold his interest to Michael Seghezzi, who became the sole owner.  In April, 2012 Michael sold the Alpha Building to Southport Land and Commercial Company. Ironically, Southport Land was co-founded in 1861 by Erastus Mathewson, a former postmaster of Grass Valley.

To commemorate its historic past, a plaque has been placed near the West Main Street entrance to the building.  The plaque can be viewed on the website of the Historic Marker Database

 

 

Decorative line before Southport Land acknowledges Chris Drainville

 

Our thanks to Chris Drainville for providing much of the content of the history section of this page.