Browne’s Addition apartment owners weigh shift to condos

Daren and Lisa Kelly see opportunity beyond rentals

Are rentals, the residential lifeblood of much of Browne’s Addition, facing an uncertain future?

Daren Kelly, who with his wife Lisa owns five rental buildings there, just finished a million-dollar remodeling of the seven-unit Duke Apartments at 2015 W. Third. With one finger testing the wind, Kelly has come to believe selling those units as condominiums may make more sense than keeping them as rentals.

Until recently, his renovation of the Duke was based on his belief that rentals there were a better bet in uncertain economic times. But something else is happening to change that view.

Kelly has compared activity across the city and notes that occupancy and purchases of Browne’s Addition properties have picked up in recent months.

“I see Browne’s Addition now being a better market than any other part of town,” Kelly said.

In particular, a large number of Browne’s Addition rentals have disappeared as many rental buildings there were converted to owner-occupied homes, he said.

He’s concluded that offering the Duke’s spiffy units as condos instead of rentals now makes sense.

“Our rent-ins have been going strong,” Kelly said. “That helps me feel we can probably offer those (seven) units as condos at prices we think we can get.”

He’s rented two of the two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath units so far. He’s ready to offer other units as condos for $199,000 and $299,000, with the higher price on the top two units on the third floor.

Built in 1910, the three-story clinker-brick-wall building is about a block from Coeur d’Alene Park.

McCloskey building dental facility

Work has begun on a three-level commercial office building called The Pointe, at 9708 N. Nevada, in north Spokane.

The $3.2 million project will provide new offices for periodontist Steven Aeshliman and family dentist Ashley Ulmer. On the top floor will be two business suites, ready for leasing when the project is finished in July 2010, said partner and co-owner Denny Christenson.

McCloskey Construction will do the work on the 15,800-square-foot project.

Photo studio opens on North Side

Spokane sisters Hannah McConnell and Rebecca Edwards have opened Tot Shots Photo Studio in the Tombari Center, at 6206 N. Division.

The pair opened the store the week after Thanksgiving. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

“I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for years,” said McConnell. Her sister has worked as a professional photographer for Spokane Valley company Kiddie Kandids.

While their name suggests they focus on child portraits, McConnell said they’ll do photos of any kind.

Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or relocations. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528.

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