Bella Vista

Check out the rendering

We told you about plans for a new mixed-use building at 7th & Kater a little over a year ago, generally pleased that a more productive use would be soon be coming to this corner. This property was a large garage at the time, and had been used to house a catering operation for many years. We'd have to assume that the building was originally used for some automotive purpose, but we couldn't tell you for sure. And it's not terribly important at this juncture, as the building is now gone for good. In contrast to the situation with the former Please Touch Museum, the loss of this building actually makes us kinda happy.

In the past

The project includes ground-floor retail with four apartments above, and has progressed nicely, as you might expect. The new building is fully framed, with many windows installed. We'd bet that some interior construction has taken place, but there's still plenty of work to be done. We aren't sure whether these units are going to be rentals or condos, either one would make sense at this location.

This could take months to play out in the courts

The story at 601 Christian St. has taken several turns since we last checked in on the property at the end of last year. In case you're walking into the movie halfway through, here's some background: 

Current view

A gas station sat on this triangular parcel for many years, and about half a dozen years ago, after several years of vacancy, the owner of the property allowed a group of neighbors to clean up the parcel to create Triangle Park. It looked like the City would purchase the land to preserve the pocket park in perpetuity, but in 2012 the City decided it wasn't willing to purchase the property without major ground testing and remediation of any contamination from the years of gas station use. Then the owner tore up the park.

We hope so, it's awesome over there

Has it ever been a tough road for the retail space at the southeast corner of 10th & Carpenter. Over the last decade, we've seen a crazy amount of turnover in this space, with half a dozen coffee shops coming and going over that time. Can you remember all of them? If not, this list should serve as a reminder of the difficulties of the coffee business and the challenges for this tiny space across from Bardascino Park. 

InFusion, Mazag Cafe, Filter Cafe, Bookz-n-Beans, Brown Sugar Cafe, Down Dog Healing Cafe.

Wow.

In April, Function Coffee Labs opened here. We checked it out a couple weeks back and came away really impressed.

Function Coffee Labs

This place takes their coffee very seriously, upping the artisanal ante by offering tasting flights as a standard menu item. A duo flight is a shot of espresso and a shot of coffee. A trio is a coffee shot, a cortado, and a pourover coffee, all made from the same coffee bean so you can appreciate the flavors expressed from the different preparation methods. Very cool stuff. They've got some basic food and some pastries too, and with their coffee program offering something new and different there's a real shot (no pun intended) that they'll stick here where others could not.

If you live in the area or even if you don't, check 'em out and help the cause. And then go play some bocce across the street.

New apartment will have sooo much parking

A neighbor reached out recently, wondering about 827 Carpenter St., a one-story garage that's just steps from the hustle and bustle of the Italian Market. This property has caught their attention of late, as a two-story addition has appeared atop the building. 

New addition at 827 Carpenter St.
Perhaps the people who reached out live in one of the new Mildred Court homes

We'd imagine this building has been used historically for storage- until recently it was owned by members of the Esposito family. But moving forward, it appears it will be somebody's home. New owners bought the building at the end of last year and got approval from the ZBA to build a two-story residential addition at the property. The first floor will remain a 2000 sqft garage, providing the residents with a space to store a collection of antique cars or something like that. The layout of the addition will be quite unique, with decks to the north and south, an incredibly high ceiling for the living and dining rooms, and angled walls that should make furniture placement a challenge. On the plus side, the setback will give the neighboring buildings some room to breathe.

See what we did there?

When the Bean Exchange closed their doors last summer at 7th & Bainbridge after a nearly decade-long run, we simply assumed that another cafe would not replace it. We expected an apartment conversion, perhaps. After all, there are just so many coffee shops in the area, like Shot Tower at 6th & Christian, Bean Cafe on the 600 block of South Street, Lombard Cafe at 6th & Lombard, and probably other places that we're just not thinking of right now. But heaven knows, people love coffee shops (thankfully), and so Rally opened this week in the former Bean Exchange space.

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