7 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Terry and Bret Austin own the company now known as Halbach Schroeder Lofts
The owners of Austin Properties have purchased the Carson Apartments.
In a deal 14 months in the works but finalized on Thursday, Terry and Bret Austin purchased the second through fifth floors of the building for a price in the neighborhood of $1 million.
Terry Austin said he thought the purchase fit within the company's portfolio.
"The opportunity to purchase what is known as the Carson Apartments presented itself about August 2012 with a call from Red Sampson," Terry Austin said. "He was going to be quitting his maintenance position with Carson Apartments and said he would like us to see if we would be interested in acquiring the building. He saw a building in deterioration and wanted more for Quincy. We reviewed the building and its financials...we analyzed the condition, sketch out a plan to get it back to productive and back in proper condition."
Terry Austin said "not one dollar of Quincy city money, TIF money or GREDF money was sought or provided in this purchase" and the Austin's are the stockholder of Halbach Schrader Lofts, Inc.
The Austin's worked with the City of Quincy's Planning and Development Department and GREDF to begin a dialogue with the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
"During the process, we found that the loans were through IHDA (Illinois Housing Development Authority) and there were conditions that made IDHA want to see a new ownership take over," Terry Austin said. "They expressed a desire to work with us thinking that our experience and success in other Quincy projects and our being in Quincy would help us succeed."
Terry Austin said they dealt with multiple ownership and management groups involved, which led to some frustrations.
"There were times that we thought about giving up, but when the Newcomb was destroyed mostly as a result of uncaring, absent owners, we increased our efforts," Terry Austin said.
The Austin's considered getting involved in the Newcomb process before the September fire and even in its aftermath, but they now say with this purchase they are not pursing any further opportunities with the Newcomb property at this time.
Carson Apartments will now be known as Halbach Schroeder Lofts, Inc, the name from the original store for which the building was built in 1918. More on the original building can be found in the video above.
The building will remain divided as it now is. The ground floor and mezzanine portion is owned as a separate property by Gray Hunter Stenn, LLP. The second through fifth floors will be owned by Halbach Schroeder Lofts, Inc. The apartments are rent controlled with rates set by the State of Illinois and there are income restrictions on who can be a tenant. It is comprised of 36 apartment, 9 two bedroom and 27 one bedroom.
"We will begin our improvements after the first of the year and hope to see the condition back to what it should be within the first six to nine months," Terry Austin said. "We look forward to keeping this building productive and attractive for a long time to come."