I've left a few messages today for Taylor Burns, the officer at Park Cities Bank charged with tending to 807 Elm Street. As I noted Monday, PCB, which got the property in foreclosure, would like to raze the 85-year-old building sitting in a parking lot across from El Centro, though the Landmark Commission's Central Business District/West End Task Force is more than likely going to deny the demolition permit at its just-commencin' meeting. (Though do stay tuned.)
What I want to ask Burns is this: What'll it take to part with the property? Because I see a Friend of Unfair Park has taken to Craigslist in an attempt to round up partners interested in rehabbing 807 Elm. Our Friend, an architect at a respected downtown firm, writes, via e-mail, "I know the experienced developers have the proper channels and connections to make projects happen, but I figured, why can't independents come together and collectively take on a project like this?" Allow me to share (with some copy-editing):
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So I was reading this article, and I thought, 200k is nothing for this size building. I bought my condo down the street from this for that much. I would love to buy this and work on it myself (I remodeled my existing condo myself) and convert it into loft units. Imagine having this whole building to yourself while working on it. Then reality sets in. I could probably afford the building, but then I would have no money to sink into it to do the work -- electrical, sprinkler system, fire alarm, plumbing, interiors. I'm an architect, so I know what would need to be done and would produce the work to get it there. The lofts would be industrial in nature, exposed wood ceilings, concrete or wood floors, some exposed brick walls while still incorporating a modern infill.
Then I read in the comments about how this is too small for a large developer and too big for a independent person. So I had the idea: Why not get a group of do-it-yourselfers together and collectively buy the building. The group contributes to its restoration, and, afterward, we have our own building with lofts. We would essentially be a co-op. Ideally, we would live in the lofts, but I guess if you wanted to sell your loft, that is your choice. Anyways, Craigslist is as good a place as any to pull people together, and I figured if you looked up property in downtown, this might be of interest. So shoot me an e-mail and maybe we can work on something assuming the City of Dallas does not grant them permission to tear it down.