Friday, July 22, 2005

North End Developments

I was talking to one of the builders in my neighborhood, a guy that who has acquired and sold a lot of property and built some attractive residences. When I told him that the police had finally convinced Kenny Norman, owner of Norman's Market, to sign a trespass waiver, he told me that he himself owned a couple of properties near the market on 7th Ave., and that he was going to continue to build the same sightly houses that he has in the past. He said that he intends to add such infill to as much property as he can acquire on Garfield from 5th Ave. to 8th Ave. He told me that developing the property around Norman's Market would drive away much of criminal element that loiters around the Market property.

He also told me that he believes that thinking that the owners of nearby Garfield Place are going to be able to sell their modern townhouses in a neighborhood where period-style houses are in high demand is misguided. He doesn't believe they will be able to sell them for as high as the mid-300s as they intend, especially for something that "looks like it should be Downtown." I didn't tell him that I find the $500,000 price tag of the new, modern Monroe townhouses only a few blocks down the road even more curious (1 of the 8 Monroe townhouses has been sold and the builder, Germantown Partners LLC, is waiting for two more to sell before breaking ground on the luxury complex).

We also discussed the clearing of the property across Garfield St. from Garfield Place. He told me that he was concerned that one of the local Salemtown builders, who generally says that he "is going to build what he wants and doesn't give a crap" about what buyers want, may own the property. He told me that the other local builder constructs ugly looking houses like the one in the picture to the right, which sits on Buchanan St. That admittedly unimpressive house has been on the market for months, and the owner has had to lower his asking price for lack of interest.

During our conversation about the cleared Garfield property, I mentioned that I had seen the Metro records and I discovered that Moss owns it. That seemed to give the both of us a little more relief from the prospect that more ugly housing would be built in Salemtown. But we'll wait and see. It was heartening enough for me to find out that he plans to extend his own attractive and high-demand developments down Garfield to 8th Ave., one of the central Salemtown arteries.

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