EASTON — The transformation has been remarkable — from an old tan building with some offices and the industrial remnants of an antique soda pop factory to a new, sleek, modern office complex.
Officials, including the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon on the newly renovated iFrog Building at 101 Bay Street and gave tours on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
iFrog Digital Marketing is an automotive digital advertising and marketing company that helps U.S. dealerships find new customers and brand their business.
The building was originally built by the Stewart family in the early 1900s as a two-story facility to be a Coca-Cola bottling plant and distribution warehouse, according to a history written by iFrog writer Dorian Mitchell.
Throughout most of the 20th century the plant was a busy place. Easton residents watched lots of activity and trucks full of Coca-Cola bottles coming and going. But the Coca-Cola plant eventually found a larger space on Commerce Drive.
In 1985 Dick Edgar purchased the old plant on Bay Street from the Stewart family through a Lifetime Exchange policy and began renovating it into office spaces.
One of the very first tenants was the Miles & Stockbridge law firm which still has offices there.
More recently, another tenant has been the iFrog digital marketing company whose owners, Dave and Peggy Wilson, and their family, bought the property last year. They renamed it the iFrog building.
Colors, styles and materials in the new iFrog building are all the brainchild of Peggy Wilson, her husband Dave said. Peggy Wilson designed the interior and worked with contractors to create bright, fresh workspaces.
Renovations are still on-going, but the most of the inside of the 32,140-square-foot building has been revamped into a sleek, new modern interior, light-filled with pale gray and white interiors, shiny floors, artistic lighting, full glass doors and walls decorated with framed historic black-and-white photographs.
There are also the characteristic neon automotive signs that have been a passion of Dave and Peggy Wilson for many years. Along with the car signs, a bonafide antique Coca-Cola sign stands out.
The Wilson family’s long-time company, Preston Automotive Group, is the parent company of the iFrog digital marketing company, and iFrog has a large automotive customer base locally and nationally.
Outside, the building is graced with porches and terraces that invite meetings and brainstorming sessions. There is at least one outdoor workspace.
Inside, there are plenty of “phone rooms” for staff members to duck into when they are having conversations with clients.
The main contractor for the building was Gillis Gilkerson of Salisbury. Other companies that worked on the building included Kleppinger Electric; Comfort Plus, a division of Tri-Gas; Warren’s Wood Work, Inc. and many others. Security wiring, cameras and security systems were done by Safe House.
Current tenants include DHW Holdings, Ad Strategies, Miles & Stockbridge, PNC Wealth Management, Bank of America, Stephen Wolf, The Borchardt Group, and Safe House, along with the spaces occupied by iFrog digital marketing.
Dave Wilson says there are room for two more tenants, and there have been several inquiries. The areas are broken up, but there is about 3,000 square feet total left to be rented.
Wilson was all smiles as he and his cousin, iFrog President Tim Wilson, gave tours on Tuesday.
“It’s great when you repurpose and bring new life to an older building,” Dwight Miller of Gillis Gilkerson said.