Our home for roadies
off the road.
In the beginning, we traded New York City for Niles simply because we have family in the area. Then we saw the building. We already had the seed of an idea that would become The Roadie Clinic, and if we were going to do it, a beautiful and geographically central location seemed best. With easy access to international airports but removed from the bustle of a big city, we knew Niles would give us the perfect balance of access and retreat. Beginning with no more than a family and a building…it started to unfold.Niles already possesses a rich community of artists, many centered around music. Umphrey’s McGee have roots here, as do Tommy James and the Shondells. Our media partners, ProSoundWeb, are based in town. Electro-Voice started just down the road from our building in the same area that Souldier Guitar Straps currently resides. The French Paper Company, an environmentally-conscious paper source for artists (and popular among concert poster artists), has called Niles home for 150 years. It might be a quiet little burg, but it’s impossible to deny the creative base already present in Niles, MI.
Then there’s the building itself. Even stripped to the studs, it just feels like a special kind of safe. The connection from 205 E Main’s roots as the original telegraph building to its eventual transformation to a retreat for pro audio professionals just feels right, too. What those pioneers would say about how far their humble patch bays have come, we wish we knew. As amazing as the space will be once construction is complete, the area around us may well surpass it.
Only two blocks from our door is a 20+-mile bike & walking path along the St. Joseph River. There’s a concert pavilion and a theater downtown. Across the street a brand new gym has opened with pilates and yoga studios a few doors down. Plus a new distillery and a new brewery in town are a few blocks apart. There are restaurants that cater to all types of dietary needs and choices. The town is so welcoming and willing to support our efforts and our community.
The Lofts will be little havens. A place to be not-at-work and not-at-home and not-full-of-expectations. Families will be able to be somewhere safe, neutral, and supportive.
Some people may only need a brief pause to catch their breath. For others, it might be the lifeboat that gives them the needed space for healing. Whether through therapy or by being in an environment where talking through the complex set of emotions that come with being on the road. For some, it will be a place for recovery.
When you’re surrounded by people who have been through the same things, it’s a lot easier to feel understood. To face and talk about the things you’ve all felt for years, but haven’t been able to really unpack. The Lofts will be a place just for that. A little reset button, in the middle of the country, in Niles, MI.
A Closer Look at 205 E Main
One single entrance will be made into three entrances, returning the facade to the original design of the 1860s. The left entrance of the store will be for the local community of Niles. This will be a beautiful retail space, and 80% of the store will have self-care/wellness/travel items (bath products, candles, art, home goods, cozy blankets, etc). A portion of proceeds will fund the work of TRC.
Separating the retail space by a large industrial door will be a gorgeous commercial kitchen and dining room. This space will be closed off when there are guests in The Lofts. The area will be large enough to serve 13 people. Thirteen is important to us as it’s symbolic of the maximum number of people on a tour bus. A staircase behind the kitchen gives guests access to the sleeping areas upstairs. When we don’t have guests, we will open up our kitchen to the local community for use as a supper club, again with proceeds going to The Roadie Clinic.
The middle entrance will be the fire escape route for the second floor and will simply lead to a staircase leading out of the building.
The right entrance will be the welcome lobby for The Roadie Clinic and The Lofts, including elevator access for the building.
There will be four individual lofts with private bathrooms along with a shared lounge space that will include a sober bar. Our facility will be an alcohol free space in order to remain a safe place for people struggling with sobriety. When not in use in an official TRC capacity, the second floor can be utilized as an AirBNB to further support our mission.
The third floor will include one additional loft with three extra bunk rooms – simply a bed and a door. Similar to tour bus life, this will be a welcome retreat for roadies who like the comfort of a small space (yes, this is a real thing). There will be two full baths available for these guests, but they will be shared.
In addition, we’ll have two soundproof therapy suites that will be outfitted with the appropriate technology to allow people to either meet virtually with their therapist, or spend time in person with a therapist from the roster of TRC. These rooms will also feature Murphy beds, hitting our goal of providing space for 13 individuals.
And finally, the office of the Executive Director and support staff will also be located on this floor, completely separated from the sleeping quarters.
Tom Wood – Audio Engineer + Endurance Athlete