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Old 10-22-2012, 01:04 PM
 
4,259 posts, read 9,882,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightiesfan View Post
Are there any good resources that list industrial, loft, or unconventional spaces that could be used for live/work type arrangements? Somewhere to have your home and your gallery or workspace. I'm thinking along the lines of an abandoned fire station or small factory. Preferably in a smaller town or city that hasn't been overrun with trust fund kids and yuppies.
101 E. Mulberry Street, Newport, PA, 17074 - Flex Space Property - Off-Market on LoopNet.com
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,480 posts, read 41,072,462 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Oh, shhhhh - be quiet! This is MY idea!

I've been small-town building hunting in IA and MN. Some of those upstairs apartments/lofts are BEAUTIFUL! But they're usually in poor condition.

Aside from the renovation costs, the other downside I've been observing is that in many small towns these buildings with lofts are too close to the other businesses active in the evenings in small towns - bars and saloons. And they're usually on Main Street, which in many cases is a rural highway or at any rate a location without much lot space for a yard.

There's also the re-sale value issue - there are those of us who love small towns and would enjoy loft life here - but I don't think there are too many buyers like us. There's a renovated store with loft apartment in a small town in southern MN that someone's been trying to sell (it's on realtor.com) for nearly two years.

It's still a cool concept. Don't spread the word or prices will go up!
Do some searching. American Profile (newspaper insert for small town papers)
Did some nice stories about a guy who bought buildings in small towns in Southern KS and fixed them up and sold to tenants. Also the kid in MN who bought distressed grocery stores and fixed them up.

There are lots of opportunities in doing this. The internet has drastically changed small town stores, so be prepared and keep multi tenants. For my 'cute' small town commercial property, a very small space that was rented to a Barber (in same location for 30 yrs), bridged my payments MANY times when other tenants went out of business. Property ownership comes with all sorts of challenges, but this will work. There is a CD poster from MT that has done this successfully. I have seen several enticing properties in SD.

I prefer the model of getting a fixer building and adding Apartments and various commercial space, helping busineses get rolling, then sell the building to the business owners. You DO WANT multiple tenants / businesses and residential.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:16 PM
 
80 posts, read 194,912 times
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I know this thread is a little old, but I like the ideas expressed here. I have a closed movie theater in a downtown area of a small town in Oklahoma. It has been looking more and more like it may never be a movie theater again, but I've considered turning it into rental space with residential units and one storefront or cafe where the lobby is. It could already be a small cafe or lunch counter with little effort. The building was remodeled in 2008 and has a lot of new stuff in it like new wiring and electrical systems, new pipes and plumbing fixtures, new air conditioners, heaters, ducts, new insulation, new building exterior, new fire sprinkler system, new windows and doors, etc. Of course, it would need more renovation to add apartment spaces.

The building has four separate air conditioning/heating units and 600 amp service. I envision someone taking the storefront and creating an apartment above that, and then building up to three more town-home style apartments in the rear of the building with access from the side alley, which is more like a small side street. The old auditorium would need to be turned into garage space and a second floor built above them. The ceiling in there is about 18 feet high as it is, and will be even higher when the raised wooden floor is removed to put in the garage.

I have this vision in my head, but no cash to make it happen. Oh well. Maybe somebody else will come along and do something like this.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:08 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,480 posts, read 41,072,462 times
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Is it the only 'community' space / theater in town?

There is still HOPE... I have seen a few make it with a variety of venues filling the space. WHo knows... Maybe movies will return !!! (I spent MANY yrs in the 1970's delivering 'cans' of films to small towns in CO, NE, KS, SD, WY.) Would love to soo them LIVE again.

But adding 'mixed use' space is very helpful to keep cash flows.

Are you keeping the realestate? There are plenty of success stories for small town real estate, but it is not EZ, as it takes a different formula, depending on the community and the property. For OK, I would seriously look into senior housing / transitional care. OK has quite low cost of care, and probably will see increase in residents coming from HIGH cost areas and seeking affordable housing and care.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:37 AM
 
80 posts, read 194,912 times
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There are no other theaters in town. There is other "community" space, such as the senior center and the high school. The high school sometimes hosts plays, including some that are not put on by the school, but more of a community effort. The library hosts some events for children, especially in the summer. Of course, there are other theaters in the bigger city in the next county. That's where people go to the movies.

I bought and renovated the theater after it had been closed for a dozen years or so. It's in waaaay better condition now. I did market research and analysis. Based on industry statistics, the town and the surrounding county should have provided a better income, so maybe I was doing something wrong. I don't know. Due to family health issues and insurance concerns, I decided that we had to move on without giving it the full amount of time it normally takes to get a new business going. We were only open for a little over a year. With less than stellar revenues and such a short history since re-opening, nobody has come forward to take it off my hands. It has been for sale for over 3 years, sitting dark. Many have expressed interest. A few strung me along for months, only to change their minds at the last minute.

In addition to the past performance concerns already mentioned and the small town location, there is a newer issue that causes many people to back away from my theater. It is the transition of all movie theaters to digital projection. When I bought the place in 2007, there was talk that it could take 10, 15, or even 20 years for the industry to transition. Well, it hasn't taken nearly that long. Something like 80 or 85% of the nation's theaters have already converted. Studios make fewer and fewer copies of movies on film. The rest are usually shipped on hard drives and require very special projection systems to show them. Film equipment is being sold for scrap. Some studios have said they will not distribute any more film copies by the end of this year, and it's already hard for small town theaters just to get any movie on film. If a theater hasn't converted by next year, they will probably be closing.

Some suggest playing older movies. Old movies on film will not be available for long either. Most copies on film have been destroyed, rather than stored. I suppose for purposes of recycling, or to save storage costs. It has always been that way. The few copies available will be so precious that only a few theaters will be trusted with them, not your typical small town places. So, it's digital or nothing.

Digital projection systems have come down in price. Now they can be installed for as little as about $40,000 per screen. My theater has two screens. An $80,000 investment would make it possible to show movies again, but I don't know if it would help with the original revenue issues.

As for adding mixed space, I wouldn't add it to the existing theater. It's not big enough. There is no extra space in the building for such things, except for maybe a small apartment above the lobby. The theater space would have to be converted to something else. It would still be mixed space, just without the theater.

I don't want to keep the real estate, but at the rate its going I will have to do something with it myself at some point in the future. I'd rather sell it, but as I said, it's been for sale for three years. Some people have looked at it for other possible functions, such as a church. One guy asked about possibly using it as a medical clinic. In the end, no offers.

I've thought of senior housing, but the theater isn't all that big. Right now it has about 4,000 square feet. If I added a second story throughout, it would be about 6,000 square feet (unless a big part is used for a garage, then it would probably stay about 4,000). But, there is only on-street parking in the downtown area and a nearby small city free parking lot which is always full in the daytime already. That is why I suggested turning part of the building into a garage and creating town house style apartments facing the alley. There is nothing like this in the area, so having an apartment with a garage might be appealing. Being downtown near cafes and other businesses might be appealing, although there is nothing in the form of night life or entertainment there, now that the theater is closed.

Know anybody looking for real estate investment property in small town Oklahoma?
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Quincy, IL
16 posts, read 15,935 times
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Question Loft living in midwest small town

I took an old run-down building and refabbed it in 2008 to hold my business on the main floor and created a two story loft on the 2nd and 3rd floors for my partner and me to live in. There was a lot of work involved, no doubt, but it created for us the ideal living/working arrangement. In the rehab process we added an elevator also, which made living there even more convenient when we would come home from the grocery store. Behind the office space on the main floor, we used the space to allow for a 5 car garage. We lived there until last month when we closed our business. Our plan had been to retire and travel in our motorhome, however we are having a difficult time selling our building. People in this area are not very familiar with loft living, and don't seem to have much interest in the idea of living above their business. We don't really understand why it has been difficult to find interested parties, except that there are a few 'good old boys' that own most of the commercial buildings here and have down played it's value in hopes of picking it up for practically nothing.

Everyone who see's our loft and what we have done, seem to love it....but no luck selling so far. Any suggestions on attracting interest in loft living here? Our town is about 40,000 population, on the Mississippi River, wonderful arts community, interesting architecture, and good quality of life. We are becoming frustrated.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,200 posts, read 17,047,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klmutch View Post
I took an old run-down building and refabbed it in 2008 to hold my business on the main floor and created a two story loft on the 2nd and 3rd floors for my partner and me to live in. There was a lot of work involved, no doubt, but it created for us the ideal living/working arrangement. In the rehab process we added an elevator also, which made living there even more convenient when we would come home from the grocery store. Behind the office space on the main floor, we used the space to allow for a 5 car garage. We lived there until last month when we closed our business. Our plan had been to retire and travel in our motorhome, however we are having a difficult time selling our building. People in this area are not very familiar with loft living, and don't seem to have much interest in the idea of living above their business. We don't really understand why it has been difficult to find interested parties, except that there are a few 'good old boys' that own most of the commercial buildings here and have down played it's value in hopes of picking it up for practically nothing.

Everyone who see's our loft and what we have done, seem to love it....but no luck selling so far. Any suggestions on attracting interest in loft living here? Our town is about 40,000 population, on the Mississippi River, wonderful arts community, interesting architecture, and good quality of life. We are becoming frustrated.
For one thing, in your part of the world owning a home with a yard is the ideal for the vast majority of the population. Most folks will trade the convenience of lving above the workplace for the luxury of having their own green space.

But I think the bigger problem might be the glut of available space:

After several Quincy businesses close, economic officials tell b - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

I love downtown Quincy, but the last time I was through I didn't get the impression that it's a happening spot these days. I hate to say it, but I think this is going to be a tough sell.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,907 posts, read 6,220,632 times
Reputation: 6135
Quote:
Originally Posted by klmutch View Post
I took an old run-down building and refabbed it in 2008 to hold my business on the main floor and created a two story loft on the 2nd and 3rd floors for my partner and me to live in. There was a lot of work involved, no doubt, but it created for us the ideal living/working arrangement. In the rehab process we added an elevator also, which made living there even more convenient when we would come home from the grocery store. Behind the office space on the main floor, we used the space to allow for a 5 car garage. We lived there until last month when we closed our business. Our plan had been to retire and travel in our motorhome, however we are having a difficult time selling our building. People in this area are not very familiar with loft living, and don't seem to have much interest in the idea of living above their business. We don't really understand why it has been difficult to find interested parties, except that there are a few 'good old boys' that own most of the commercial buildings here and have down played it's value in hopes of picking it up for practically nothing.

Everyone who see's our loft and what we have done, seem to love it....but no luck selling so far. Any suggestions on attracting interest in loft living here? Our town is about 40,000 population, on the Mississippi River, wonderful arts community, interesting architecture, and good quality of life. We are becoming frustrated.
I just read your other thread where you were trying to sell. What a bummer. You are not living there now ? I know the furniture was sold and it was furnished beautifully, I thought. Where are you living, if not the loft ? Did you buy the motorhome ?

I do hope it works out for you.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:56 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 85,098,321 times
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The problem with any is that rehab can mean Asbestos removal in older buildings. It can get really expensive.o ften if done under no inspection then bank inspectors will find it and refuse to finance.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:06 PM
 
58,699 posts, read 83,293,256 times
Reputation: 12898
This small city of 19,000 has loft apartments: Sutton Real Estate Company, LLC

Sutton Real Estate Company, LLC

Here are some in a small city of just under 30,000: Logan Park Lofts | Maintenance Free Living | Auburn, NY

R&M Real Estate Group | Top Notch Real Estate Firm Located in Auburn, NY

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-23-2014 at 04:15 PM..
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