Where Have All the Small Commercial Rehabs Gone?

A question from a Swamplot reader:

My husband and I lost our Heights bungalow (and the hundred-year-old oaks that shaded it) to Hurricane Ike. We have decided donate the remnants of the house to Historic Houston for salvage, sell our lot . . . and use our insurance settlement to pursue our dream of purchasing an older commercial building, like an old two-story brick grocery store, somewhere inside the loop in the $200K – $350 range, 3000 – 4000 sq. ft., for mixed use as a residence upstairs and studio space/small theater downstairs. We are not having much luck.

My question is this: aside from all the usual avenues–Commgate, Loopnet, HAR, reading blogs, driving around, submitting LOI’s, what other resources exist for novice commercial buyers, like us?

6 Comment

  • Hire a broker that has a lot of listings in the area. it doesn’t cost you anything. A lot of sellers don’t take individuals seriously unless they have a broker. What you are looking for is going to be very hard to find so you’re going to need somebody that knows the market very well.

  • i pick up issues of red news.


  • Check along Washington Avenue — prices may be a litle higher than you are expecting, but close to town. Too many of these historic buildings are being destroyed for the new townhouses. Sad…..

  • Definitely go with Blake’s advice. Having a broker shows you are just toying with the idea of purchasing and that you are serious.

    Essentially it’ll end up being your broker and the properties broker (or they could be the same person) hashing it out.

  • Also, immediately east of downtown is hot spot for these types of buildings also. And with the future soccer stadium, there will be even more activity in that area.

  • I was going to suggest East of downtown as well. There are lots of old warehouses over there. There is one that I think is abandoned on Nagle at Clay (or Clay at Nagle). I don’t know if it is for sale, but if not, it should be.