If you’ve always dreamed of joining the “Adams Family” of businesses in the 300-400 block of Adams Street in downtown Springfield, a unique real estate opportunity is now available.
The Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit that assists in promoting and preserving historic properties, has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the building at 312 E. Adams. The three-story building has been on and off the market for the last several years at various price points but was most recently listed for sale at $95,000. However, the owners decided to donate the property to the Heritage Foundation, and the organization is now seeking proposals from potential redevelopers.
According to Scott Troehler, board president of the Heritage Foundation, “Our role is to facilitate this kind of redevelopment. If we can get somebody in there that has been interested in downtown but doesn’t have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars — they’re just looking for a small first project — we’re hopeful that at this price point we can get some new people in the game.”
Bids start at $30,000, but a much more important consideration, according to the RFP, is the planned use for the building and the buyer’s ability to finish the renovations and have it occupied as soon as possible. In addition to providing a feasible plan for financing and construction, potential buyers will receive bonus points for projects that include residential units for the upper stories as well as included letters of intent or signed leases from potential tenants.
“The good news is that all the heavy lifting has been done; demolition occurred under the previous owners,” said Steve Myers, a broker with Myers Commercial Real Estate and a board member for the Heritage Foundation. “What it needs now is the finish work to put it all back together.” The building also has a new roof, and the brick work and windows were redone in 2005 with TIF funds through the City of Springfield’s façade program for downtown buildings.
Myers said, “Our goal is to help repurpose properties when the current owners are not in a position to do that.” He noted that there has been quite a bit of activity along Adams Street in the last few years. The recent opening of the Kidzeum of Health and Science and new businesses Buzz Bomb Brewing Co., Itty Bitty Fashion Truck and Kiddos have joined long-time destinations for locals and tourists alike, such as Cafe Moxo and Elf Shelf.
312 E. Adams will be open on Monday, Jan. 28 from 4-5 p.m. for potential buyers to examine the building.
Both Myers and Troehler said they hope other downtown property owners might take advantage of tax deductions by passing properties on to the Heritage Foundation, rather than sitting on a vacant building. Myers said, “We have always been a resource for property owners that would like to take advantage of a donation tax credit; I think that was the motivation in this case. We’re happy to talk to anybody.”
Troehler pointed out that the Heritage Foundation can assist in other ways as well. “Part of the mission of the foundation is similar to Downtown Springfield, Inc., to contribute to the fabric of downtown. In addition to repurposing the buildings, we want to work with DSI and other entities to help out,” he said. “We’re looking to get back to being more active.”