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PHOENIX-Desert Viking Development of Chandler is poised for the takeover of three historic properties near downtown Phoenix. Beginning in January, a refurbishment will begin on the Goldspot, a 1927 corner store; Fontanelle House, a 1920 two-story house; and Lamar Building, a 1922 two-story dwelling.

More than $2 million will be spent just on the Goldspot’s rehabilitation, says Michael Hogarty, a Desert Viking principal. The firm also has applied for a $400,000 historic restoration grant from the city.

The 12,262-sf Goldspot, located at the northeast corner of Third and Roosevelt streets, will “be returned to its 1927 glory,” Hogarty says. The undertaking calls for a new roof, steel reinforced walls, plumbing, electrical wiring, flooring and recreated urns along the parapet. The new space, expected to be completed by the third quarter, will most likely be leased to office tenants or perhaps retailers.

“We will hold this building forever,” Hogarty says. “Our prime objective is to effectively and properly complete the rehabilitation and restoration. In able to be able to afford to do that you have to put a tenant in there.”

Desert Viking acquired the Goldspot from the city after Post Properties, developers of an abutting 700-unit apartment project, failed to begin its refurbishment, as promised. Desert Viking also is in escrow for $350,000 with a private owner for the nearby Fontanelle House. A portion of the 8,000-sf, two-story dwelling will be razed to allow room for a small parking lot, Hogarty says. “It’s a building that will require $120 a square foot to rehabilitate,” he says. Desert Viking is still weighing what to do with the space, but is considering ground-floor commercial and residential on the upper floor.

The firm also walked away the high bidder for the Lamar Building, which is about a quarter mile north at the southwest corner of Latham and Third streets. The firm turned in a $52,000 bid to the city for the two-story brick house. That property is under consideration for a restoration and conversion into for-sale condominiums.

Each property’s restoration will adhere to federal guidelines for historic rehabilitation, Hogarty says. The structures are located in a historic downtown area that has gotten more and more attention from home buyers in recent years. With the completion of Post’s apartment project, the area also is starting to seen viable to small retailers and restaurants that previously avoided the area. Several professional firms also opened up offices in nearby historic homes.

Desert Viking has been developing retail center in the East Valley for several years, but for the past four has been in the historic restoration niche. To date, its restored more than 40,000 sf in seven buildings in downtown Chandler.

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