Historic Auto Showroom on Fairmount Avenue Turning to Mixed-Use

It was apparently only a matter of time before the building at 1501-05 Fairmount Ave. joined the chorus of redevelopment that's serenaded the corridor over the last few years. This building is rather unique, and because it's an example of low-rise commercial construction in the Art Deco style, it was designated historic last year after a nomination from the Preservation Alliance. For an explanation of the exact features that make the building historic, we suggest you read the nomination.

View of the building in 1930, image from historic nomination

Current view of the building, image from historic nomination

The building, which has been home to Overseas Motor Works for many years, came onto the market at the end of last year at an asking price of $2.5M. We would have to imagine that the building would have been snatched up right away if not for the historic designation. Even so, it went under agreement earlier this year at a lowered asking price of just below $2M, with settlement scheduled next month. Before that, the future owners will be presenting a plan to the ZBA to redevelop the property. This plan would entail a three-story addition which will include 20 residential units. The ground floor will be divided into two commercial spaces. We know that the rear section of the property, used for years for parking, will also be involved with this project, but it's not clear whether it will be built up or used for parking.

Current view of the rear of the building, image from historic nomination

Assuming the project gets approved, it will join a number of other new mixed-use projects on Fairmount Avenue, including the Tela's building at 19th & Fairmount, the newly constructed 1720 Fairmount building, and the reuse at the old AF Bornot building at 17th Street. Fairmount is starting to run out of large parcels that will be able to accommodate such large projects, but we'd wager that we'll see at least a few more in the coming years.