Changes abound at the northwest corner of 5th & Norris. As recently as twelve months ago, this corner was a vast vacant lot, a former surface parking lot overgrown with grass and weeds. But that’s not the case anymore. You may recall, back in the summer of 2017, we told you about two separate projects on the horizon here. Already, one of those projects is nearly finished, as four duplexes on Norris Street have exterior work completed. We imagine the units will be sold as condos, but rentals are certainly possible at this location.

Duplexes on the NW corner

Head a few steps to the north and you’ll see a bunch of foundations on Reese Street. These foundations are part of a larger project called Soko Commons which will eventually mean two triplexes and two quadplexes on Reese Street, four triplexes on 5th Street, and a six-unit building at the corner of Reese & Norris. The project doesn’t include parking, but will instead feature a large landscaped courtyard as an amenity for the folks living in the 32 units in the development. The developers have listed some of the buildings in the project for sale pre-construction, and also offered the entire project for $8.25M, but didn’t find a buyer and have since taken the listings down. Still, this gives a pretty strong indication that this project is being constructed with rentals in mind.

Construction to the north
Foundations and framing on Reese Street
Soko Render
Project rendering

Like we said, the northwest corner of this intersection has seen some big changes in the last year, with more yet to come. But that’s not all for 5th & Norris. Indeed, the Ikea-painted auto repair shop on the southwest corner is currently listed for sale for $400K.

Property for sale on the SW corner

A buyer could potentially continue using the property as an auto garage or another by-right idea would be to tear down the building and construct a small apartment building with ground floor retail and three apartments. Another approach would be to go to zoning and build a couple of town homes, but that doesn’t seem like it would work financially, given the asking price. Maybe the best idea would be to copycat the project across the street and go to the ZBA with a plan for an apartment building with no retail and more density- that certainly feels like the highest and best use for a double-wide property at this location.