Half a Decade Later, W.G. Schweiker Building Could Be Renovated

The W.G. Schweiker building is one of our favorite buildings in town, even though it’s been sitting blighted and vacant for as long as we can remember. According to @mal19104 on Instagram, the building dates back to the turn of the 20th century, and once housed a roofing and construction business that specialized in skylights, cornices, heaters, and ranges. At least that’s what the building itself advertises. The Schweiker business is now long gone, but the building and its amazing bones remain.

View of the building

We first brought the building to your attention in the summer of 2011, noting that the 5,200 sqft building was listed for sale for $80K. At the time, we suggested that this seemed like a rather high asking price given the location and the condition of the building. About a year later, MM Partners came forward to purchase the property (for less than $80K) with plans to renovate the building into artist live/work space, and even started interior demolition efforts. But the project never made it past that point, and the image you see above was captured just last week.

But this shouldn’t remain the case for long, as new developers purchased the property last month. The purchase hasn’t come through public record yet, but the asking price was $270K and we’d think they paid something close to that. Ah, what a difference five years has made in Brewerytown. Not only have the new owners bought this property, but they’ve also purchased 1501 N. Bailey St., located immediately to the north. This building isn’t quite as impressive as the building on the corner, but it’s still pretty striking, as old warehouses go.

Building next door included

Reliable source @genbrewerytown indicates that the new owners are of a preservationist mindset, so look for these buildings to come back into active use while maintaining many of the details that make them so striking even as they sit vacant. The properties are zoned for multi-family use, so a by-right development would not include any retail. With a burgeoning commercial corridor just three blocks to the south, we’d think that this would be the most appropriate approach- we just don’t see how a corner retail space could make it work right now on the 2600 block of Jefferson Street. Then again, as we’ve seen, things have been changing quickly in this part of town, and what applies today might not apply anymore in just a few short years.