Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Atlanta Investor Has Vision for Main Street Housing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Atlanta Investor Has Vision for Main Street Housing

Article excerpt

Byline: EARL DANIELS, The Times-Union

Jim Brewer has a dream that one day, all along Main Street, housing will be situated above the storefronts that line the main artery of historic Springfield, just north of downtown.

That's why Brewer, an Atlanta real estate investor, bought a building at 1805 N. Main St. last year for $525,000 and recently completed renovating it for an undisclosed amount into 1805 North Main Street, a retail and condominium building.

He is among several out-of-town investors, many from Atlanta, who have been buying vacant dilapidated buildings and renovating them into places to live, eat and shop. The investors are a part of the latest movement to resurrect Springfield, a neighborhood that is a patchwork of renovated and rundown houses and buildings.

The first floor of the building consists of about 4,400 square feet of space that is divided into three retail spaces. Tax service companies occupy two of the spaces.

Brewer said he is close to reaching a lease agreement with either another tax service company, a day spa or a cafe to fill the third space of the building at Eighth and Main streets.

"We are trying to get a cafe there," Brewer said.

Above the retail space, Brewer is selling six condos ranging from $100,000 to $120,000. The condos are two-bedroom and one-bathroom condominiums.

Brewer has done extensive work on the building's upper floor that was once apartments that rented for $200 a month.

He said the previous owner did a "cheap, bare-bones renovation" to the building in 1984 that consisted mainly of covering the floor with vinyl.

"It really looked pretty rough."

When Brewer bought the building, he had that flooring ripped up.

Workers have installed hardwood and ceramic tile in each unit. The kitchens feature new black appliances with smooth-top oven surfaces, white cabinets and Formica counter tops. The units feature colonial trim, raised panel doors, ceiling fans, 10-foot ceilings and plantation window shutters. Two of the units have a skylight in the living room area.

Condo owners will have a security-coded pad entry in the front of the building leading to stairs to the upstairs condos. …

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