An English Avenue opportunity?

September 14, 2007
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English AvenueA not-for-profit neighborhood revitalization group has slashed the prices on three remodeled live/work buildings at English and State avenues. The brick buildings near Fountain Square have undergone various levels of renovation by Southeast Neighborhood Development, or SEND. The group bought the buildings, which had been eyesores, as part of its effort to revitalize the east-side neighborhood. Now, they're scrambling to find buyers. The building addresses are 1656 English Ave., 1651 English Ave., and 1702 English Ave. The two buildings pictured here are priced at $199,900 and $194,500. That's about half the original price, said Phillip Barcio, the listing agent. Good buy, or still a tough sell?
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  • I think these are still a tough sell even though the price is down they are still a piece removed from the Fountain Square area that is hopping so whatever goes in there would have to be a draw of itself. As you can see in the pictures they are stand alone buildings with houses right next to them. Nice buildings wrong area....
  • I agree...I saw these buildings listing several months back and I went and looked within them...nice buildings however the location makes it hard to put something there profitable...it is not a highly trafficked area which make it hard for leasing to commercial tenants and the block is still a bit blighted to the north. One building has potential for to apts on the top which can be great and profitable...the intersection just needs more going..the car lot doesn't help much
  • The buildings are three corners of English & State...not near the corner. As Jim pointed out, the fourth corner is a used car lot.

    These buildings are a lot closer to the (downscale) day-labor marketplace at Washington and State than to (going upscale) Fountain Square; they're in an area that is a real mishmash of industrial, commercial, warehouse, railroad tracks, and residential.

    The area to the north will likely improve as Horner Electric continues to expand and as the Washington St. interchange on I-65/70 is built, but this corner is unlikely to become a destination unless someone does something innovative with all three buildings at once (three-building art & antiques shop with apartments over? railroad-themed development?)

    SEND did well to save them, but they are unlikely to get out whole given how sketchy the area is.
  • Wow. I live right next to the green house in the first picture. I've always thought these would be a tough sell for anything but office space. Retail definitely isn't going to work.
  • I would argue that it really isn't that sketchy, though. I've been living here for almost two years with no problem.
  • Fixed. Thanks, thundermutt.
  • The prices of the two properties were originally 210K and 199K, and the new price is not half the original price, as the article indicated.

    I checked the places out too and there's no parking. Also, the places still need to be fixed so that would be extra cost, on top of the asking price.
  • The listing agent said the prices have been lowered gradually and are now roughly half the original asking price.
  • I want to first say that I have not seen the buildings other than the pictures and I am not extremely familiar with the area, but I think that an important factor in these buildings being viable as live/work spaces is that they are clustered at a single intersection. This could become a destination with all three of these spaces. I am guardedly optimistic about this, but I do think somethingvery good could be done here.
  • BP, it's sketchy from a retail point of view. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

    These are old-fashioned neighborhood retail buildings with living or storage space above and it's unlikely that retail will go there. Something like a builder or remodeler with a showroom, or professional office (real estate professional, accountant, or lawyer) seems much more likely.
  • TM- Okay, makes sense. Sorry to get defensive. I agree. I never really thought retail would work there until the demographic in the neighborhood changed to the point where foot traffic could support an establishment. I agree with others, though, that a real destination establishment with a niche market could get along very well in that spot. Otherwise, offices are the likely choice.
  • That area could be 10 years before it becomes really turned around. Long time to wait for your investment. Probably on appeal to urban pioneers looking for a live/work situation....
  • This area requires a visionary, someone with a ten-year plan. Gentrification is imminent here. Look to the future. The State Street Corrider will be strong, anchored here and at Prospect Street with historic commercial, historic residential, parks and schools. The (going upscale) Fountain Square referred to by thundermutt was barely habitable four years ago, with flop houses and drug dealers. The success story of that area is due mostly to SEND and a couple of other visionary investors. Glory goes to the bold. Yes, I'm the listing agent. Yes, I live in the neighborhood. Yes, I have a vested interest. I've showed the buildings more than 30 times, mostly to artists, true visionaries, unfortunately with little bankroll.
  • As a resident of Fountain Square who only lives three blocks away from this intersection and a fellow real estate agent, I believe that these buildings are going to play a key role in the ongoing revitalization effort going on in south east center township. I have shown these buildings to potential buyers a number of times. The various creative usage ideas has run the gammet from an art gallery to a Nurse Practitioner's office. The stumbling block for most of these individuals like Phil stated above is a lack of capital. SEND's progressive thinking has brought these three buildings back to life and has got the ball rolling. Now someone with a combination of business sense, positive outlook, and capital needs to step in and take the next step. With the adundance of on street parking and residents within walking distance there is no reason that this intersection cannot be poised to become a destination. It is plain to see what a transformation Fountain Square's residental and business districts have already gone through in a few short years. I believe that these buildings whether they take the form of residential, retail, or a mixed use will flourish and be the literal cornerstone for the next wave of redevelopment in the surrounding area. I think all three buildings are a front row, VIP ticket for right individuals who act now, as property values in the area have and will continue to rise.
  • I'll wait..my biggest concern is the property tax!
  • I Can Not Print The Whole Article With Comments, Please E-Mail Me The Whole Printable Article So I Can Print All 15 Comments. Thanks For Your Help.

    Don Donnella

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