1010 W. Boone renovated into safe, secure housing | Business
For 107 years a brick building near the intersection of Monroe and Boone has been nameless but for years it's been known to the city's underbelly as simply 10-10 West Boone. Fallen into disrepair, a couple bought the property out of foreclosure in March and are turning it around.
"Every time we looked out the window we saw this mess," said Mistie Crosby.
She and her husband, Joe, bought the two-story building out of foreclosure in March.
"The goal is to tear it down," said Joe.
Seven years ago the couple bought the Lacelle Motel along Monroe Street just north of 1010 West Boone. While remodeling the Lacelle, the couple laid plans to purchase the property on Boone. The couple also owns two buildings on the northwest corner of Monroe and Boone.
"It's hard to get good neighbors," said Mistie.
They are business people who are looking to turn a profit. Completely renovating an apartment building that's more than 100 years old and is preceded by its seedy reputation doesn't make a lot of sense. But right now, the economy isn't too inviting for development either.
"It would make a perfect convenience store," said Joe, referring to the entire corner and Monroe and Boone.
His vision would include services such as a laundromat and car wash.
A company has shown some interest but told the Crosbys it would be waiting until after the upcoming election.
Either way the November vote goes, the couple know they can't just let the building sit there not making any money.
"When I don't feel safe walking into a building, how can anyone else?" Mistie asked, walking through the hallway of the building.
For now, the Crosbys are focused on cleaning up the apartments and providing a clean, safe place for people to live.
"There are good people out there who don't have a lot of money because of the economy who need a good place to live," said Joe.
A big hurdle to overcome is the building's recent history. The Crosby's say when they bought the building it was overrun with drug problems and other criminal activity.
"When Rich started remodeling, he had to lock up all his tools so they weren't stolen when he went home at night," said Joe. "That's not the case anymore."
Rich Popchalk is the contractor who's working on the remodel.
"Doing some of the older buildings is a challenge," said Popchalk, whose other work includes the Chaps Restaurant in the Latah Valley. "When a building is so poorly maintained, a bad element moves in and when you clean it up, they move out."
The rooms are all being remodeled with new carpet, new linoleum, new tile, paint and anything else that needs to be replaced.
"Some of the windows had been put in backwards so we had to pull them out, turn them around and put them back in," said Joe.
The outside of the building has also been painted and window frames look fresh with a clean coat of green paint. The aging wooden back balcony will be replaced and a green awning will be mounted to the front, accenting the buildings brick archway entry.
"We consider it an extension of our own house," said Mistie.
"I was afraid of what it was going to look like," said Vick Madson, who moved into the first renovated apartment a month ago.
Madson had previously lived in Spokane Valley and likes the convenience of her new location. There is a bus stop right outside the building and downtown Spokane and River Front Park are just a short walk away.
"It's a hard process," said Mistie of reinventing the apartment building. "It's had such a bad reputation. But we are cleaning it up and making it a safe place."