Sunday, June 30, 2019

Home improvements

It wasn't that long ago when the twin Parkview Apartments buildings on West Third Avenue looked as if they were primed for the wrecking ball.

The historic structures – now almost 100 years old – were dilapidated. The place had become an eyesore. Glass in many of the windows was broken out; the little plots of grass out front always seemed snakey and in need of cutting; and occasional squatters seemed likely to be seeking shelter there. It all added up to a sense of frustration and insecurity for the neighborhood.

Parkview Apartment No. 1 is showing itself off.
 Almost a decade ago, Core Properties & Development out of Burlington showed interest in renovating the apartments. Then, after a series of fits and starts centering around the availability of tax credits, the project began in earnest a little more than a year ago. Help also arrived from BB&T, LMI Builders, West & Stem Architects and Twain Financial Partners out of St. Louis.

And now, Core Properties is finally renting apartments.

Between the two buildings, there are 30 units available. Correction: make that 20. As of today, six of the 12 apartments in Building No. 1 are rented; four single bedroom apartments in Building No. 2 are already spoken for, and the renovation is still to be completed.

There's a lot to be said for the updated buildings. One of the most attractive features about them is their proximity to the shops and restaurants in Uptown Lexington, just a couple of blocks away. The J. Smith Young YMCA is a block over, Lanier's Hardware is two blocks away, the Breeden Amphitheater is nearby, and four churches dot the immediate neighborhood. Talk about location, location, location.

Granite counter tops are appealing in one of the apartment kitchens.
Just as attractive, there are brand new appliances in each kitchen, including dishwashers, microwaves and stacked washers and dryers. Hardwood floors are everywhere and Building No. 2 features an original marble hallway. Wi-Fi and water are part of the rent, and there is a new parking lot behind the buildings. An extra storage area for each building is located in the basement of Building No. 2. New landscaping gives the place a visual appeal.

Rent? The single bedroom units are in the $600 to $700 range, while the two-bedroom apartments go for $900 to $1,000 per month.

There are two open houses a week, with one every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the other on Sundays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you need help, Jerry Mayes is on site. Not only is he showing the units for Core Properties, he's the first tenant to sign on since the renovation began.

"So far, there's been a good flow of people coming in to look at the buildings," said Mayes. "Interestingly enough, a lot of people were former residents here and they just want to look around. It's kind of neat. I think they're impressed."

The only serious drawback I see is there are no elevators for the three-story buildings. I don't know if that's because the developers wanted to keep the historical integrity of the buildings intact (they are located in the Lexington Residential Historic District) or if there was just no way for some other reason to add elevators. But it might be a game-changer for some folks.

Nevertheless, I am excited about this. I live in the historic district and the renovated Parkview Apartments could become an anchor property for the neighborhood.

At any rate, a former eyesore is no more.

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