Work has proceeding at Griffin House, a.k.a “The Cottage,” at 2116 Madison in Overton Square. Formerly connected to Paulette’s, numerous structural repairs and cosmetic updates have been taking place to improve the property. The house is approximately 1,500 square feet, would work well for restaurant or retail (there is a small kitchen in the back), and it is currently for lease.
Tom Hayes, Loeb’s VP Construction, tells us this about the building:
Leighnora Elizabeth Griffin, moved into this house in 1919. During the mid-70s heyday of Overton Square entertainment district, she and her husband, John, continued to live in the house and turned down many offers to purchase this home. She lived here until her death at age 89 in 1991.
The Cottage was then combined with the Paulette’s restaurant by two breezeways. The front breezeway was the main connector and included seating. The rear connector was a service hallway. This created a private courtyard between the two buildings that was used for outdoor seating.
Our marketing research for our revival of Overton Square showed that the conjoined building was not a viable option leasing purposes. We then demolished the connectors to separate the structures once again. Because we had just completed major structural repairs at the old Yosemite Sam’s building with great success, we made the decision to keep the Cottage despite the structural repairs that needed to be made.
In addition to the actual house, we are developing a walkway to be called Griffin Walkway that goes between the two structures from Madison to LaSalle. At the rear of the Cottage, we are developing Griffin Garden that will be a small public park under the two large oak trees in the rear. A small security office is being built there. We also are planning two art projects and a bicycle parking area. We have spent about $50,000 on the exterior of the Cottage and adjoining area, and will spend another $50,000 on patios, walkways, and other exterior items in this immediate area.
The overall plan is that we will have a walkway that traverses the entire of Overton Square. It starts on the South where the new garage empties into the old Friday’s alley, then crosses Madison, then down the new Griffin Walkway, through the Griffin Garden, to the North parking lots.
The yellow cottage with a white picket fence is the geographic center of Overton Square and will be distinctive. We can’t wait for it to be a new retailer or restaurant and for the Garden to be a meeting spot.
Some of the most fun we have in our commercial real estate business is getting to rehabilitate older buildings and give them a new life for a new generation.