Sep 22

Brokerage scoops up historic Washington Ave. building, talks renovations

A historic building in a bustling corner of Washington Avenue was scooped up by a joint venture between Houston’s Braun Enterprises and Baker Katz LLC.

The two-story building, located at 1919 Washington Ave., contains 17,000 square feet of commercial space, of which 12,905 square feet is available. One of the building’s two tenants is Julep, a popular cocktail bar and Gulf Coast seafood eatery.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. But before any tenants move into the building, the building’s interiors will be updated, Jason Baker with Baker Katz told the HBJ.

“Frankly, with the building being the age that it is, it needs a lot of TLC, particularly on the second floor,” Baker said. “We love the idea of adaptive reuse and preservation.”

The seller, Sonny Bucks Holdings LLC, wasn’t available for comment. A timeline on the building’s renovations wasn’t available. It’s the brokerage’s first asset acquisition within the Washington Avenue corridor, which Baker said he was once concerned would become “an irrelevant stretch of road.”

“Ten-plus years ago, Washington felt like it had become lower Richmond – or what Richmond Avenue use to feel like. It was just loaded up with bars and we didn’t feel it was sustainable,” Baker said.

But more recently, the brokerage has been setting its sights on the Washington Avenue area. Back in May, Baker Katz purchased a 40,000-square-feet propertycontaining a 12,000-square-foot building at 1805 Ella Blvd. for roughly half of the property’s 2015 listed value.

Baker Katz has two other properties in the Heights area: a shopping center at Shepherd Drive and Interstate 610, and a retail center at Yale Street and 19th Street. Braun Enterprises is also piquing its interest in the Heights, too. The commercial brokerage purchased the 2200 Yale storefront in March 2015. The space, which held a longtime Heights furniture shop, was recently leased to Texas Children’s and Bernie’s Burger Bus, which is opening a 3,300-square-foot brick-and-mortar at the site.


Original article can be viewed here.