Construction work has begun on a project that will transform two vacant building on Barret and Christy avenues into a restaurant, an apartment, and another retail spot. Paul Kuhl and Ivor Chodkowski plan to open Harvest, a restaurant serving locally grown foods, in the one-story portion of the building and lease space in the adjacent structure. Today, the sounds of hammers filled the sidewalk as crews worked on the nearly gutted interior.
The first phase of construction includes a 1,400-square-foot retail outlet and 900 square foot one-bedroom apartment. Kuhl explained that work on the two-story building will take about four to six weeks to complete and work on the restaurant will start soon thereafter. The entrepreneurs searches for two years to find the Original Highlands property and are excited about its location anchoring the northern end of Barret Avenue. The area is dense and contains quite a few jobs within walking distance. It’s just a couple blocks from Baxter Avenue to the east. A sandwich shop is still under construction one block to the north, so this stretch of Barret Avenue could see quite a rebirth. The project is still working through a few parking issues. Current rules require 36 parking spots for the new use of the one-story building, but there is a proposal before Metro Council to lower that requirement to a more manageable 16 spaces for urban areas. The building permit posted on the front window estimates the first phase cost at $100,000 and the second floor apartment is expected to rent for about $695 per month. A metal canopy covering the sidewalk has already been removed and new windows are planned. The wooden siding will also be replaced with new fiber cement hardie-board siding. When all is said and done, this corner will be quite a bit more lively than it’s been in years.
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