1 East Main Street has been one of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with in Beacon. Since opening my office in 2001, this massive 30,000 sq. ft., 4 story factory building has been sitting across from me at the corner of East Main and Main waiting for transformation. This diamond in the rough, with handsome architectural details like huge windows and massive beams and perfectly central location downtown, made it prime for conversion… yet it sat for another 15 years.
1 East Main St. has a long history of factory uses, from electric blankets to baby carriages to everything in between. It sits on the shores of the Fishkill Creek, which in the industrial-age powered three factory clusters downtown: the Roundhouse, 1 East Main St. and Churchill St. The original factory building on the East Main site was a cotton mill that dated all the way back to 1814. In 1912, the Schrader Hat Company added the additional large brick building (now 1 East Main) to use for the nation’s most modern manufacturer of straw hats. Like many of these sites, it morphed over the years due to use, needs and destruction (it was hit by a train!)
In 2002, on the verge of Dia opening, Beacon was hopping and the entire block from 1 East Main to Churchill Street was bought by a developer. Even though the building was still a functioning countertop factory up until the sale, the appearance of the building was shabby and abandoned looking with a mixture of broken and boarded up windows. The developer had lofty ideas but nothing happened and the building sat.
For years to follow, whenever I would walk by the building with clients they would always say “Wow, what a cool building! Someone should do something with it.” I would sigh to myself… “I know…”
Finally, around 2013, the owner (who by then had become a client) had decided it was time to sell. These large sales can be very complicated with all kinds of contingencies like financing, environmental and use approvals. Often they take years to close and this was no exception. We had several developers looking and considering but in the end, McAlpine, who I had previously brokered the deal together for on the Roundhouse campus across the street, won out. Over two years later, it finally closed.
Having a beat on where the market is going and what people are looking for and willing to pay, is how I bring value as a real estate broker to my developer clients. I worked with the developer on the plans and pricing of the new units which ended up being a mix of 19 residential and 4 commercial condos. As soon as the offering plan was approved, we began selling the units pre-construction.
As expected, the project was hot! We sold all 19 residential condos and 3 out of 4 commercial condos before any of the residential COs were issued.
Now the building looks gorgeous and is full of life again. I’m thrilled and proud to have been involved in this project, and happy to be bringing prosperity to Beacon.
The black and white historical images have been sourced from “Images of America: Historic Beacon” and “Images of America: Beacon Revisited,” by Robert J. Murphy & Denise Doring VanBuren.