Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Revitalization In Waiting

DFWB recently had the pleasure of touring a historic downtown building, the J.W. Kidd building on 1510 Fairfield Avenue, with Dan Carmody of the Downtown Improvement District and David Nugent of BND Commercial Real Estate Solutions.

The building's age racks up in the triple digits and was originally used as a manufacturing plant for gloves. Recent use has seen antiques being sold out of the building, with remnants of this particular use left behind.

The structure takes up 27,720 square feet of space and is located nearly equidistant between the Harrison Square site and the historic GE campus. Fully sprinklered and with a working elevator, the building is comprised of three stories and a basement, with a current zoning of IN1.

The beauty of the building lies in its brick walls, tall ceilings, and hardwood floors. Because natural light was essentially the only option at the time of construction, the Kidd building features an exterior covered in large windows, which greatly adds to its appeal.

The base price of $395,000 is currently set for the building, but David Nugent advises that renovation costs for conversion into mixed-use and residential uses would run anywhere from $50 to $75 per square foot, pushing such a project into the millions of dollars.

The floor plan lends itself well to a residential or mixed-use project, with tall ceilings and minimal obstruction from posts and beams allowing for excellent urban loft opportunities. Dan Carmody notes that the third floor, with already high ceilings, can be expanded upwards toward the roof even further to create double-level units. There is also a basement with a surprising amount of opportunity inherent within it.

Another asset of the third floor is that since it is the closest to the roof, there are no supporting beams required in between the outer walls, creating opportunities for even more freedom in design.

The Kidd building is not the only project on Carmody's radar, however. He says there is also an opportunity at Columbia Street on the Landing for a similar project, yet one that would have a potential for up to $900,000 of state tax credits to help move it along.

Although moving both projects forward would be ideal, Carmody says picking one and sticking to it will result in an increased probability of any project happening.

Regardless of what comes out of either or both potential projects, it is a good sign for downtown that such possibilities are even being considered. It's an even better sign that such projects make use of and restore historic buildings into usable and compelling spaces.


Rachel said...

That building housed an interesting and affordable antique mall in its previous life. I hope that it is put to good use in next incarnation. I'm glad to see that it has some possibility for future development.

John B. Kalb said...

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I think this building was at one time the home of the Horton Wringer Cloths Washing Machine Co. If I am correct, it has an even more historical background. Anyone know for sure? John B. Kalb

Richard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Greider said...

Just got back from Texas. Great reporting job! I first toured the Kidd building with Nugent (who also sold me 1010 Broadway!) in January '06, and I'm still dying to do it. When I'm back next week, that's first on my list!