The sale of 72 Poplar Street is good news for the Heights, since something might finally happen with this vacant former police precinct. The Daten Group reportedly bought the 1913 building for $7.5 million—much less than its $12 million asking price. I think the $7.5 million is a good starting point, considering the time and expense it’ll take to get their approvals and complete the conversion of this historic district property.
We’re familiar with 72 Poplar Street, since we had eyed it in 2009 as a potential project for a development partnership. As a developer, I see improvements like reconfiguring the existing large floorplates in order to access needed natural light. This building is defined by its existing windows, which would not be permitted to be moved on the street façade. Since the floor plate is so large for this 30,000 sf building, another way to increase internal light would be to add an interior or rear light well. Although the previous owner failed to get its rooftop additions approved, LPC would likely approve them if they were designed to be “minimally visible” on the main structure and appropriately contextual on the smaller one-story garage building.
I look forward to watching how this building evolves–are you?