The downtown Roanoke building that once held Spanky Macher’s eccentric collectibles – bumper cars and who knows what else – has been emptied, gutted and is in the process of being outfitted with 15 apartments, four commercial spaces and a street-level parking garage.
Faisal Khan and his father bought the building for $225,000 in 2010. They are in the midst of a $3 million renovation.
The project is eligible for historic tax credits, but it’s been a challenge to renovate, Khan said. Built in 1946 as a Magic City Motor dealership, the building lacks many architectural details found in other historic buildings, such as timbers and hardwood floors. So, Khan looked to save and repair the original windows and keep the glass block windows and concrete floors in tact.
The concrete floors will be stained. The bathrooms are being tiled with black porcelain. Stainless steel appliances and black composite counter tops will finish the kitchens.
“We did everything to give it as an industrial look as possible,” Khan said.
The 14 one-bedroom apartments are from 600 to 700 square feet and will rent from $650 to $850. The only two-bedroom apartment will rent for $930.
Khan has yet to decide whether to include the cost of parking in the rent. There will be space on first floor, off Rorer Avenue, for at least 8 vehicles. Parking is also available next to the building on Campbell Avenue.
The project builds on the momentum that the Lofts at West Station, Fulton Motor Lofts and The Candy Factory have brought to the western edge of downtown Roanoke, known as the West Station District.
The district appears to be catching on. The Lofts at West Station, which opened in January, is 90 percent leased. And, Lana Seale, a property manager with Waldvogel Commercial Properties, said she already has a list of 65 people who are interested in 401 Campbell Lofts.
The building should be complete in April or May.
What do you think of this area of downtown Roanoke? Do you think these developments will draw restaurants and other businesses to locate there?