Developers kick off another downtown rehab

A Third Street building will be renovated with about a dozen new apartments. Photo by Katie Demeria.

A Third Street building will be renovated with about a dozen new apartments. Photo by Katie Demeria.

The streak of redevelopment on a stretch of smaller downtown buildings continues.

Duke Dodson, whose Dodson Property Management oversees a large portfolio of real estate in the area, has plans to renovate the 10,700-square-foot building at 118 N. Third St., adding 13 one-bedroom apartments and a 550-square-foot commercial space.

Dodson said the growth of that particular section of downtown pushed him to tackle the project. New developments, restaurants and markets are pushing into the surrounding blocks, including Chris Tsui’s latest venture, Julep’s, Lucca Enoteca Pizzeria, Kohlmann’s Market, and Pop’s Market – all located within a few blocks of each other on West Grace Street.

“With all the restaurants and markets coming in, I think that area is going to get better and better,” Dodson said.

Dodson finalized the purchase of three-story building on Oct. 14 for $575,000. Randymac III LLC is the owning entity, comprising Dodson, Tim Wehner of Dodson Properties, and Doug and Polly White of Whitestone Partners. Dodson Property Management will manage and handle leasing on the property.

Tom Rosman of One South Commercial represented the seller, and Justin Paley of Dodson Commercial represented the buyers.

The smallest units in the building will approach micro-apartment status at 400 square feet. The largest units are set to reach 720 square feet, and two will have outdoor decks off the back of the building.

The project is likely to cost around $1 million, and Union Bank & Trust is providing financing. The building was constructed in 1920, and Dodson said the developers are pursuing historic tax credits.

Dodson said he does not yet have a specific tenant in mind for the commercial space, but his company has a list of about 12 tenants that showed interest in nearby spaces and they plan to reach out to those individuals shortly.

The start of construction on the project is imminent and should wrap up by March of next year, Dodson said. UrbanCore Construction is the general contractor. Jason Hopkins of Design Physics is the architect.

Dodson and UrbanCore are also working together to renovate the ARC building on North Boulevard, where they plan to add apartments and commercial space, as well. Principals from Urban, along with Dodson, the Whites and others, own co-working company Gather, which is at work in Scott’s Addition on its second location.

And UrbanCore has another endeavor on East Broad Street near Dodson’s latest project, where it will add five apartments and a 1,000-square-foot commercial space to the neighborhood.

Dodson said smaller projects are becoming more popular, and developers like himself, UrbanCore and the Monument Cos., which is developing the space for Chris Tsui’s new Grace Street restaurant, are especially active in that part of downtown.

“There are a lot of smaller projects that need to be done,” Dodson said. “We like to help the neighborhood turn around.”

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All the attention is on the large projects, but it’s the smaller developments that are turning this city block by block into a vibrant metropolis. Dodson and Urbancore are among those leading that pack of homebuilders.