We’ve mentioned a few times previously that we once lived near Pat’s and Geno’s, a living situation that not only meant the regular scent of sautéed onions on the breeze, but also introduced us to the reliable and reasonably priced Kong’s Auto Repair on the southwest corner of 8th & Latona. Back when we lived in the area, about a decade ago, Kong’s ran out of the first floor of the building, while a clothing manufacturer operated from the building’s upper floors. The building was a little worse for the wear, a not altogether unexpected situation given the industrial businesses that were in there.

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A few years back

This building has had a variety of uses over the years, and we believe it was originally home to A. Capra & Co., an manufacturer of pianos and organs. There’s been an auto garage on the first floor since at least the the 1930s, with “club rooms” on the upper floors. Eventually, those club rooms were converted back to manufacturing, with a company taking over that made chair legs, mirror frames, and shelf brackets. That went on for awhile, with the upper floors converting back to event space somewhere along the line, and then housing the aforementioned clothing manufacturer for over two decades.

At some point in the last few years, the clothing manufacturer left the space on the upper floors and it appears the owners are now taking the space in a wholly different direction. They have permits to convert the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building into residential units, and as part of this process, they’ve upgraded the exterior of the building. It’s amazing just how much of an improvement you can see from a little brickwork and new windows.

Current view

Assuming the renovation includes nice finishes, we believe people will want to live in these units and will pay a solid rental rate for the privilege. Given the solid location and the cool factor of living in a converted factory, we imagine the apartments will rent briskly, even though the units will be coming available outside of the busiest rental season. We do wonder though, whether the idea of living above an auto garage will be a deterrent for some people, and don’t have much of a sense of whether sounds and smells will make their way into the apartments. Has anyone out there lived above an auto garage that can share whether it impacted their quality of life?