Brian Pedersen//February 10, 2015
Brian Pedersen//February 10, 2015//
Howard Mimnaugh of The Virtus Group, an accounting firm in Princeton, N.J., owns the property at 428 Northampton St., He said he plans to create apartments on the upper floors of the front of the building, renovate the apartments to the rear and lease the approximately 3,300 square-foot commercial space on the first floor.
Total construction cost for the project is about $1 million, Mimnaugh said.
Michel Hurst and Robert Swope, the prior owners, are retiring and will be relocating to Mexico City, closing Full House, their antique business on the first floor, by March 27, Mimnaugh said. Construction will begin April 1.
An outdoor garden in the middle of the building is one of the attractions that drew Mimnaugh and business partner Brian Eisner to acquire the project.
“When we first looked at the building, we were surprised. Who has an outdoor garden in the middle of a building in the middle of the city?” Mimnaugh said. “Given its close proximity to the State Theatre, as well as the potential for outdoor seating, we think this would be a great fit for a restaurant. It’s got good aesthetics.”
The previous owner renovated the center portion of the building, removed the roof, the concrete slab underneath and added 17 cubic yards of dirt to create a 1,200-square-foot garden, which splits the structure into two distinct buildings, he said.
He plans to create two rental units in the rear and three in the front.
While the building has no name yet, Mimnaugh is marketing the restaurant space and said he has had a lot of interest, drawing six potential tenants so far.
“These older buildings got great character,” he said. “The first stage is conversion of two units in the back, secure a commercial tenant and begin renovations on the front of the building.”
The main entrance for the back building is on Pine Street. The front building on Northampton Street is a three-story structure that has more than 3,000 square feet on the first floor and access to a 3,000-square-foot basement. The second and third floors are undeveloped.