The Mews as Muse: March 2022

Chosen Entrepreneur Will Reap Benefits
by John Conway

HURLEYVILLE, March 2022—The winner of an entrepreneurial challenge set up by the owner of the Main Street Mews stands to benefit greatly from an innovative challenge conceived by building owner Jeffrey T. Stevenson.
The challenge, which runs until March 15, invites prospective business owners to submit their business proposals to Mr. Stevenson’s agent Charles Brodsky, with a chance to receive a number of incentives, including free rent in one of the Main Street Mews storefronts for up to a year.
In addition to the free rent, the winner of the contest can receive a new business loan of up to $50,000 and mentorship for their new venture.
It was all Mr. Stevenson’s idea.
He financed the building of the Main Street Mews after having a cup of coffee at the Hurleyville General Store with Patrick H. Dollard, the C.E.O. of The Center for Discovery.
“Patrick outlined his vision for Hurleyville, and I wanted to be part of that,” Mr. Stevenson said recently. ”That cup of coffee is what launched the building next door.”
Once the building—which comprises four storefronts on the ground floor and eight luxury apartments on the two upper stories—was completed, the residential spaces rented fairly quickly.
“The retail spaces were more of a challenge to rent,” Mr. Stevenson related. “In thinking about how to accomplish that, the idea for the competition just came to me one day while I was driving. It was just one of those spontaneous things. I don’t really know what the spark was.”
Mr. Stevenson, who has a real estate background and is the Managing Partner of VSS in Manhattan, a private investment firm that invests in the information, business services, healthcare and education industries, decided to create a challenge around the best idea for filling the storefronts in the building in hopes of inspiring entrepreneurs with sound business ideas but without the necessary start-up financing.
“I thought it would be productive to incentivize it with capital,” he says, and apparently the challenge is proving effective, as there have already been a number of entrants. hose hoping to have a chance at capturing the prize have until March 15 to get their business plans emailed to Mr. Brodsky at
The winner of the challenge is expected to be announced on Saturday, April 2.
The first commercial tenant to occupy space in the building is Morgan Outdoors, which is moving in this month and plans to open in April.
Lisa Lyons, the store’s owner, had become a fixture at 46 Main Street in Livingston Manor over the 17 years she was in business there. She sold that store this winter and rented the space in the Mews with the intention to open there in the spring.
Watch the April edition of The Hurleyvile Sentinel for a complete story on the Morgan Outdoors relocation.