If part of landing a development deal is being in the right place at the right time, Charlie Diradour says he has a broken cooler to thank for his latest acquisition.
Diradour’s Lion’s Paw Development last week closed on the purchase of 2701 W. Cary St., an old 5,000-square-foot warehouse property east of Carytown that housed construction company Steeber and Father Co.
The $460,000 deal came about, Diradour said, while he was buying a new cooler for his wife to replace one he broke. With cooler in hand, he decided to stop for a bag of ice at the convenience store across Cary Street, and noticed a “for sale” sign out front of the Steeber building.
“It was a great, old-school kind of deal,” Diradour said. “I saw the “for sale” sign, gave Mr. Steeber a call, we made a verbal deal right then, put it to paper the next day and off we went.”
He’s now eyeing a restaurant as the main tenant for the property, which comes with a zoning confirmation letter allowing such a use.
He thinks an eatery could take advantage of the building’s three garage doors, and sees momentum in that stretch of Cary spurred by developments such as Cary Street Station, which has attracted a mix of commercial tenants along with apartment residents.
“I’m very excited about this corner. It’s a natural extension of Carytown,” Diradour said.
He said he doesn’t yet have a tenant lined up and is willing to build-to-suit or lease a shell space.
“We’re going to put it out there and find what fits,” he said.
The Cary Street deal closed April 4, about a month after Lion’s Paw sold the Pearl Raw Bar building at 2229 W. Main St. for $1.25 million.
Diradour said that deal was fueled by his desire to take advantage of a hot market and plan ahead for when things cool off.
“I think the market is as hot as a firecracker right now,” he said. “In 18 to 24 months, I think you’ll see some retraction in the market and I think there are going to be some opportunities.
“I’ve always been conservative in my approach to development and I wanted to have some baseballs to play the whole game with. Capitalization in a time of retraction is very important.”
Other Lion’s Paw holdings include the Starbucks storefront at 5802 Grove Ave., a pair of storefronts at 1017 N. Boulevard that house a Starbucks and Growlers To Go, the Kuba Kuba building at 310 N. Lombardy St., Secco Wine Bar’s building at 325 N. Robinson St., the Buskey Cider building in Scott’s Addition, and En Su Boca’s porn-shop-turned-taco-shop on North Boulevard.