One of the tallest buildings in the city has a new owner.
Youri Frakine, a Russian-born business owner from Carmel, won rights to the Tower Place apartment building for $100,000 Wednesday afternoon at an auction for the property.
Frakine, who owns U.S. Housing Consultants and American Housing and Realty, said he wants to revive the 12-story, 46,406-square-foot tower into an apartment building. He said he appreciates the history of the building and the surrounding community and hopes the project will revitalize downtown.
“I like the property. I want to make it just like it was,” Frakine said. “I want the apartments to be nice, something to reflect the historic outside look of the building.”
Erected between 1929 and 1930, according to the National Register of Historic Places database, Tower Place was built in the art-deco, late-Gothic revival architectural style as a hotel, but never opened as one because of the Great Depression.
It was still housing tenants as an apartment building until late 2011, when maintenance and operation costs forced owners to close the building.
About two dozen potential buyers and spectators attended the auction hosted Key Auctioneers, but Frakine quickly emerged as the most aggressive buyer. After estimations by project manager Veronica Hughes that the building could go for between $200,000 and $250,000, many of the attending buyers said Frakine got a deal.
“One of the things about being in the auction business is that we don’t need preconceived notions of price or thoughts of “good deal” or “bad deal,” said principal broker Jeff Doner. It was well-marketed and well-publicized and I think Youri got a good opportunity.”
Frakine, Hughes and Doner all said there is considerable work to be done on the property. Doner said about half the units are ready right now, but some of the upper levels need work on carpeting and paint jobs. Some damaged units also need repair.
Along with 46 units, the building also boasts areas designated for a fitness center, a library and a cafeteria-like gathering area on the ground floor.
“I hope they restore it to its former glory,” Hughes said. “It used to be beautiful.”
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