A couple of years ago, we brought the vacant 17-19 N. 2nd St. to your attention, noting that it had been empty for over a decade, since the closing of Synapse Cafe. We lamented the apparently deteriorating condition of the structure, especially considering its prime location in a major commercial and tourist area. We told you that the historically designated property had been owned by a guy named John Primiano since 1996, and that it had appeared on the market a few times over the years for too much money, most recently being listed for nearly $1.1M in 2012.
By some wonderful miracle, the property finally changed hands this year. The marvelously named F&F Real Estate Partners No 1 Lp purchased the double-wide property for a smidge over $850K. They're currently working to repair the building, which had numerous violations on it, and are actively in the process of renovating the interior. Framing work is underway, indicated in part by the pile of lumber we saw outside just the other day.
Just as interesting as the fact that this long-vacant building is apparently coming back to life is what it will be used for when construction is done. According to the permits, the property will eventually be a youth hostel, which is seemingly permitted by right. This sounds like good news for budget-conscious travelers, who will have a new option for accommodations in town. Hopefully, it will be a little more exciting than the old Bank Street Hostel, which didn't exactly light up Yelp with positive reviews.
We'll try to find some more info on the youth hostel angle, and will share as soon as we do.