An abandoned former nursing home building on the south side of town is being sought for housing redevelopment.
Local real estate agents Joseph Lawson, Cabell Childress, and Jess McLaughlin plan to renovate the former Woodland Heights building at 310 W. 31st Street into 19 apartments.
The 18,500-square-foot building has been unused for more than 10 years on a 0.9-acre lot a few blocks east of the intersection of Forest Hill and Sesame Streets.
The project will be the first major redevelopment for the Realtor Group, which has invested in rental homes and small apartment buildings over the past decade. They act as agents for Long & Foster.
Lawson said their plans for the former Manor property began to shift after McLaughlin saw it listed for sale online.
“It’s really well built. It’s obviously been neglected for a really long time. But from a structural point of view, it’s in pretty good shape,” said Lawson. “We’re excited to bring him back to life.”
Their plan is to gut the 99-year-old building from the inside to make way for market-priced apartments, 14 of which will be one-bedroom, four two-bedroom and one three-bedroom. The building footprint will not be expanded. Twenty off-street parking spaces are also planned.
City records showed that the group purchased the building in September for $680,000. Lawson said they met with the local neighborhood association before the lockdown.
“It’s a unique property in that it’s right in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” said Lawson. “Right after we got the contract, the first thing we did was go to the neighborhood and schedule a meeting at the property and see what they wanted to do with the property.”
As the land is for R-5 residential single family, the developers are seeking a special use permit to green light the project.
The Architectural Design Office is the architect of the project and Corinthian Construction is the general contractor. Mark Baker of Baker Development Resources represents the developers in the accrual process.
Lawson said they hope to appear before the planning commission and city council in early 2023 and begin construction by next summer.
If this first mega-project is successful, Lawson said he would be interested in developing more properties in the city.
“I’ve been in the real estate investment business, but I want to continue to find value-adding opportunities whether it’s renovations or basic construction,” he said.