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Owners of Broad Ripple eyesore hire brokers to sell property

May 24, 2018
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This building, owned by the Finkelstein family, once housed several tenants, but a string of businesses have abandoned the property. (IBJ photo/Lesley Weidenbener)

The longtime owners of a mostly vacant retail building on Broad Ripple's main drag have hired a brokerage firm to sell the property.

Las Vegas residents Sonia Finkelstein and her son, Theodore, have enlisted the Indianapolis office of Marcus & Millichap to market the rundown, 6,300-square foot property at 733 through 743 Broad Ripple Ave,

Community leaders have tried for years to get the owners to sell or redevelop the building, which was built in 1920 and last updated in 1980. Its facade is faded and scarred with outlines where former tenants’ signs once hung. Longtime tenant Sasha’s Jewelry & Watch Repair closed in 2016. By January 2017, Hardwicke’s Pipe & Tobacco was gone. A shoe-repair shop is the sole remaining tenant.

Brokers Joe DiSalvo and Mitch Rumer say they are about to launch a broad marketing campaign for the property after signing a sellers’ agreement with the Finkelsteins this month.

The Finkelsteins are former Indianapolis residents, and the Broad Ripple Avenue property has been in their family for decades. Sonia’s husband, Irwin, who died in 1999, had owned the building with his father. Sonia, 77, told IBJ in April that she’d had recent health problems and that Theodore let the condition of the property slide because he was helping her.

The marketing materials prepared by Marcus & Millichap don’t include an asking price for the property.

The owners have tested the water over the years with other brokers, receiving and rejecting offers.

Broker Gary Perel with Indianapolis-based ALO Property Group told IBJ in April that he worked with the Finkelsteins several years ago to sell the property. Perel said the Finkelsteins received at least five solid offers, which he recalled being in the range of $2 million.

But the Finkelsteins couldn’t decide what they wanted to do and ended up passing on all the offers, Perel said.

DiSalvo declined to say how much the Finkelsteins would take for the property but said the owners hope to “match or beat the best offer they’ve received so far.” 

DiSalvo acknowledged the owners’ prior reluctance to sell could color potential buyers’ perceptions. “The reception has been good, but reserved,” he said. 

DiSalvo said he’s optimistic something will happen this time. 

“We’ve sold a lot of properties for owners that were previously listed for sale but didn’t (previously) sell,” the broker said.

Broad Ripple Village Association Executive Director Colleen Fanning said she is “cautiously optimistic” the site will sell this time.

Fanning said her office has been flooded with phone calls from interested buyers following an IBJ story in April about the building.

“I’m thrilled that there seems to be movement. There’s definitely lots and lots of interest there,” said Fanning, who's also a City-County Council member representing Broad Ripple and surrounding areas. “I’m hoping the seller will be reasonable and respond to market value.”

The association’s board president, Joshua John, said the hiring of a broker represents “a step in the right direction” for the property.

Marion County records show the property’s assessed value is $319,500. That number doesn’t easily translate into what a buyer might pay, though, because it reflects the value of the current building. A buyer likely would demolish the structure and build something new, John said.

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