New Sun Rising finally has a home, and they’ve invited some friends to move in with them.
The social enterprise incubator, founded in 2005 by brothers Brian and Scott Wolovich, has purchased the former Loyal Order of Moose Lodge no. 68 at 112 E. Sherman St. in Millvale.
The 10,000-square-foot building will provide office space for New Sun Rising as well as 1,000 square feet of coworking space. A commercial kitchen will allow both Sprezzatura catering and 412 Food Rescue‘s Good Food Program to call the new space home.
Sprezzatura will operate a cafe out of the facility, which will also double as an events space for the community with room for between 100-120 people for events, performances, and training seminars.
“We’re looking at how this building can become a living laboratory for projects and initiatives to both educate and inspire people about what is possible in terms of creating more sustainable, vibrant communities,” says Scott Wolovich, executive director at New Sun Rising.
The building itself will be owned by a benefit corporation. All the main partners contributing to the buildout will have an equity stake, meaning that both the governance and financial structure of the building will be cooperative.
Much of the model for a reimagined Millvale came in 2012 with the Ecodistrict Pivot Plan, which saw Millvale residents identify six areas for community improvement: energy, water, food, air, mobility and equity.
“It all ties back to the Ecodistrict plan,” says Wolovich. “It’s why we started on the food-based work because the community expressed an interest in that.”
In 2015 New Sun Rising began the Launch Millvale food incubator. New Sun Rising was looking for office space for some of the program graduates at the same time they were looking for office space for themselves.
“As soon as we saw this space we thought about how everyone can fit into it,” says Wolovich. “It really has allowed us to think creatively about how all these concepts work together.”
412 Food Rescue will base their Good Food Program out of the new space. Rather than immediately redistributing surplus food to food banks and other networks, the new space will provide 412 Food Rescue’s volunteers with cold and dry storage, as well as facilities for them to stabilize and process the donated food into meals, juices, and anything that will extend the food’s shelf life.
“Harnessing surplus food to impact hunger has significant potential that has not been mined until now,” says Leah Lizarondo, co-founder of 412 Food Rescue and a NEXTpittsburgh contributor. “This kitchen will be a game-changer—in the same way that our technology has been.
“Millvale, like lots of neighborhoods, is approaching that tipping point where there’s an increased interest in investment,” says Wolovich. “Taking a large asset like a 10,000-square-foot building in the heart of the community and bringing it under local ownership for purposes and use that’s directly aligned with increasing employment and meeting the express needs of the community itself, it’s a tremendous opportunity.”