Ian Eisenberg, who already owns the car wash and Med Mix properties at 23rd and Union, has purchased the vacant lot on the southwest corner of the intersection and the building that houses the Neighbor Lady.
CDNews has also learned that the post office officially sent notice to southeast corner owner Tom Bangasser that they will vacate their space on the corner in January 2014.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement from Capitol Hill Housing, which intends to redevelop the Key Bank property at 24th and Union into a mixed-use affordable housing building.
Eisenberg hopes to secure financing for the planned mixed-use building that was designed for the southwest corner, but has been stalled since the recession hit. That project, led by developer Jim Mueller, passed design review in August 2008. Mueller sold the property and design to Eisenberg’s 23rd Avenue Capital Management LLC for $2.3 million in December.
Eisenberg said he is “lining up financing” and hopes to break ground as soon at the summer if he is successful.
“Our goal is to get it done before the two years”,” he said, referring to the building permits for the project that could expire if too much time passes without breaking ground.
Eisenberg said he also purchased the building between his corner property that houses Med Mix and the Key Bank. Currently the home of the Neighbor Lady, the building housed Thompson’s Point of View for decades. Longtime owner Derryl Durden and partners sold the property to Eisenberg for $1.025 million in December.
Sisters in Common—a mental health and counseling organization that has operated out of the upstairs of the building for years—will be moving out, said Eisenberg. However, the Neighbor Lady will stay, and Eisenberg does not expect any changes to the property any time soon.
Meanwhile, the future of the southeast corner shopping center is very tenuous following today’s news that the post office will leave in one year. Since the post office anchors the shopping center, and the odds of finding another tenant to rent the same amount of space are low, property owner Tom Bangasser is planning to get the ball rolling on a rezone. He is hoping the rezone could allow buildings as tall as 65 feet, the same height as the stalled project across the street. The rezone will make the property much more likely to find a developer.
“Now is the time that community goes to work on the future plans for the neighborhood,” said Bangasser. He said he already spoke to tenants, and they plan to hold a community meeting soon to discuss the future of the corner.
“I intend to engage anybody and everybody,” he said.
It is still unclear whether any of these projects will find the financing to move forward with redevelopment. But the commonly held belief among property owners is that once one project comes through, the rest could follow suit quickly. Will 2013 be the year that 23rd and Union starts its dramatic rebuild? We’ll have to wait and see.