The Herald Bulletin

March 27, 2011

Living it up in the city's downtown

By Dave Stafford
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Downtown living is getting a makeover, led by the renovation of a former senior citizen apartment building into trendy condos with an affordable price tag.

“This is going to  be a special building,” Project Principal Byran Manning said when talking about Beverly Terrace on Central Avenue at 11th Street, which has undergone an exterior facelift as redevelopers begin to turn their attention inside, to the 37 units that will be sold in the $40,000 to $50,000 price range. “It’s going to be a gorgeous property,” Manning said.

The building’s interior is solid Terrazzo, Manning said, and its historic Spanish-revisial architecture will be paired with touches such as a bistro with an outdoor patio facing Central Avenue that also plans to offer concierge service to residents and  Wi-Fi Internet service to guests.

“We expect to some extent we’ll have a younger crowd,” Manning said. “We hope this really energizes what’s going on in Anderson and downtown.” Manning said.

Jeanice Grable will operate the bistro that will be called BT’s Hotspot — a nod to the old and new, BT for Beverly Terrace and Hotspot to signify Wi-Fi and, Grable hopes, a hip destination for the community along with people who will chose to live at Beverly Terrace. She hopes the eatery will have breakfast, lunch and dinner appeal to all ages.

“We’re going to basically be a grab-and-go eatery,” said Grable, who has 22 years of food service experience. “It’s going to be quick, quality service, but not instant food. It’s going to be all home-cooked food,” she said, and not “a frozen burger slapped on a grill slapped on a bun.”

People who live in the condos essentially will have room service available from BT’s Hotspot, she said. “That’s something that’s not really offered in a lot of the apartments.”

Manning acknowledged that financing the three-phase renovation has been a challenge. He said he hopes High Rise Investments, which also owns and rehabilitated Arbor Village Apartments on East Eighth Street, can have models ready to market by early summer. He’s convinced that financing will come and that the business plan is sound.

“When you do the rent vs. own comparison, it’s going to be about $100 less (per month) to own than what rent would be for those units,” Manning said.

For more than 10 years, another downtown condo redevelopment has been a popular residence. Hudson House at Ninth Street and Central Avenue has 20 condo units, most of which are privately owned and rented as apartments, said Greg Blatz of Wabash-based Blatz Realty, which undertook the renovation of a former print shop.

Blatz said demand for downtown housing seems constant, but not overwhelming in Anderson and other north central Indiana cities where there are downtown residential properties. “There enough stuff in the area that it draw some people,” he said.

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com