Historic Building's Renovation Highlights Surrounding Growth

Between the Ford Center, IU Medical School and the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, much has been made about the resurgence of downtown Evansville. Perhaps there's no better example than the investment being made at a number of properties near the corner of First and Walnut Streets, including the newly-remodeled Archer Residence, which is now home to multiple businesses.

Built in 1870, the historic Archer Residence was purchased in May 2016 by Pollux Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Pollux Systems Inc. Over the next several months, crews remodeled the interior and exterior of the building while trying to maintain the historic character of the building.

"It was just a great building that we saw a lot of potential in and we could do a lot with it," said Amanda Besharah, the manager for Pollux Properties. "We got the whole second floor completely [demolished] and did a face lift to the inside. We tried to keep the pieces that we could from the past and not get rid of any of that."

Interest in the property came quickly, Besharah said. In December, a photography studio moved in. Another photographer moved in a month later. Just down the hall is an office for a medical billing company.

And that's just the start, Besharah said.

"It's all basically going to be apartments surrounding us so we wanted to base our [building] on commercial space," Besharah said.

A prospective tenant could be moving into the entire ground floor later this summer. In the meantime, construction crews are working on renovating that portion of the 13,000 square foot building. There are also plans for a coffee shop in the carriage house portion of the building.

"Everyone is just working hard to establish Evansville's downtown area," Besharah said. "There's a lot of construction going on and people looking into these areas. It's just great to see."

The construction isn't just limited to the Archer Residence. Renovations continue at the historic McCurdy building. The Kunkel Group plans on leasing out some of the 100 potential living units later this spring. The building will also feature two large meeting rooms and office space. Next door to the McCurdy sits the former Riverhouse Hotel, which is also being renovated into a boutique hotel. Demolition work on the interior recently began.

Across the street from the Archer Residence is the Cambridge Arms building. Mike Martin of Architectural Renovators LLC began renovating the building last fall. Ultimately, the building will be turned into 32 one bedroom apartments and a penthouse suite. Construction is expected to wrap up in the fall of this year.

All three of the aforementioned projects are funded entirely by private money.
"It's exciting. I love building in the community," Besharah said. "I'm very excited. I want to be more of a part of the growth [downtown]."
The Archer Residence still has some available space for prospective tenants but its going quickly, Besharah said.


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