Wednesday, July 1, 2009

827 West Broadway For Sale For A Cool Half A Million (Summer Visitation 2009)

Photos By John Hoff 

The toughest-looking building on West Broadway may be a matter of debate, but few would argue 827 West Broadway ISN'T in the running. From its painted-over graffiti to the psychotic clown motif which was somehow supposed to sell "affordable" furniture during another era, the exterior of the building speaks of tough times past and present.

Recently, I noticed small changes to "827" and some attached buildings...

First of all, the barbershop at the end of the block closed in the last week. Truly, no great loss. As is the case with many obscure, run-down West Broadway businesses, residents worry something nefarious is happening and whisper it by word of mouth. The barbershop was no exception to that rule.

But now the "head chop shop" is closed and random crap is piled high, just beyond the windows. In the top photo, my son's reflection is visible, looking inside the former barbershop.

So that's one change to the "800" block, the closing of the barbershop. The prayer center and thrift store are still open, however. If you want to pray for an affordable used toaster, you may find instant success on the "800 block." What I pray for is development, revitalization, and a drop in crime. At 827 Broadway Ave. N., I see some possibility my prayers may be answered.

In the last several days, a wondrous and miraculous sign has appeared in the front window. This sign has the phone number for a real estate agent, Matthew Ward. In a conversation with Ward today, he told me "827" is for sale for a mere $500,000. He told me this like, gee, maybe I had it laying around.

Ward made it clear that, obviously, a respectable offer below half a million would be considered. And he hinted some buyers had looked at the property recently, but no deal had been finalized.

I told him, "Ward, I tell you what. How would you like some FREE ADVERTISING?"


Revitalization of this area is inevitable. Just recently, I read an article in North News (click here) about redevelopment taking place right down the block. Half a million seems like a lot right now, but in ten years I believe there will be somebody saying, "Can you believe I could have had 827 Broadway Ave. W. for HALF A MILLION back in 2009? What was I thinking, investing in UPTOWN while NoMi was turning trendy? I could kick myself."

Take a look in the window, my son, while I take a picture. The desperate little barbershop is gone before you ever laid eyes upon it, and tomorrow brings even bigger changes.


Margaret said...

What is the deal with all the junk? I can understand a derelict building in a blighted block but why are they always filled with trash? Is somebody getting money for waste hauling and leaving it in derelict buildings instead of paying a landfill fee? I guess we'll know if the new owners discover barrels of toxic waste in the basement.

Johnny Northside said...

Just to be clear, that picture was taken on the side of the building which is NOT 827 Broadway, but it IS part of the same furniture store, which takes up two buildings.

And you're right. Derelict buildings always seem to be filled with junk. Consider, for example, 2222 4th St. N., which (as of some months ago) had so many paint cans piled on the front porch they were as high as the mail slot. But often the junk appears to be some kind of "storage." Let's face it, Americans have a lot of possessions and we spend plenty of time in our lives just shuttling the stuff between various spaces.

The Mortgage Geek said...

I don't know if this is the case at this particular address, but...

It's been my experience that many (WARNING: HATEFUL SPEECH AHEAD! THOSE WITH LESSER DISPOSITIONS, SENSITIVE ATTORNEYS, AND/OR CHILDREN SHOULD SKIP READING THE NEXT WORD) slumlords have at least one property or garage where they keep all their junk that they either don't want to spend money dumping at a landfill or are hoping to use in another one of their scummy properties someday.

Anonymous said...

I love that psychotic clown. Revitalize around it. It reminds me of days gone by when Broadway had grocery stores,the five and dime and the Tally Ho restaurant.

Margaret said...

Americans may have a lot of possessions but the stuff in these buildings always looks like quite a few different families EX-possessions, which makes me wonder about the dumping angle. The Mortgage Geeks's storyline also sounds plausible.