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.