Action Builders and Remodelers have operated out of the warehouse at 1418-22 S. 7th St. for as long as we can remember, which is also roughly as far back as Google Street View can recall, about a dozen years. Property records indicate that they’ve been there far longer, since the mid-1980s. They’ve had a great run, and are now either relocating or getting out of the business, putting their building up for sale earlier this month. We bring this to your attention since we noticed the sign when we passed the property the other day.
The building is listed for $850K, which feels close to the right number for a triple-wide property at this location, though maybe it’s a wee bit on the high side. The building is a bit larger than it looks at first glance, with 6,800 sqft of space over three floors. The most seamless purchase would be for a contractor to buy the building and use it for their business, but we have to think that there are far less expensive spaces for a contractor to operate out of and in locations that are probably more conducive to moving materials around. More than likely, we see a developer buying this property and either converting the existing building into apartments or tearing the building down and building three homes. We’d advocate for the former, both because the building adds architectural interest to the block and also because it seems like the better approach, financially.
The tricky part here is that the property is zoned for single-family use, for whatever reason, so any residential conversion will require a variance from the ZBA. Historically, the building was used as an auto shop and as a lumber warehouse, so we’d think at least a mixed-use zoning designation would make more sense, but what do we know. A few doors away, another commercial/industrial building was converted to apartments half a dozen years ago, so at least a potential developer at 1418 S. 7th St. could point to that project as an inspiration and precedent for a similar reuse. That project only has eight units on a much larger parcel, so anyone developing this property could have trouble getting the density needed to make for a worthwhile apartment conversion. Be that as it may, someone will surely give this property a chance, and we have to think we’ll be hearing about plans for it at some point in the near future.