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ARLINGTON, TX-This morning, city officials and an area broker, now delving into development, will unveil plans for an adaptive reuse project on a 76-year-old commercial property, spinning lofts and office from a 14,600-sf rundown building in the city’s one-time automobile row.

Gary Walker, president of Walker Property Advisors, spent about $200,000 for the deed, will invest another $1.2 million into the urban rehab and then dedicate the next year to awakening his sleeping beauty at 100 E. Division St. As the plans progress, Walker will chase a National Historic designation for a two-story structure touted as the only intact pre-1930 commercial building left standing in the city.

“What makes the numbers pencil is the 20% tax credit,” Walker tells about the adaptive reuse project. “We’ve got to have that credit to make it work.” He also will pursue funds from Arlington’s TIFF district and economic development incentives available only to downtown properties.

The architect and general contractor have yet to be selected, but the plan is to start in December and wrap up in July 2004. Named for its longtime owner, the Vandergriff family of Arlington, “The V” is a Mission Eclectic design that will be converted into 8,000 sf of first-floor office space and 6,600 sf of second-floor lofts with a 3,000-sf private veranda. The project is the first residential and office combo to be developed in Arlington, taking a lead from mixed-use developments in Dallas and Fort Worth although considerably smaller in size.

To help sell the project to other tenants, Walker will relocate his brokerage firm, SCM Real Estate Services, and his property management group into a section of the first-floor office space. The Vandergriff Building, a one-time vehicle showroom and repair site, is situated in a cluster of older commercial buildings now being returned to tax rolls as income-producing properties.

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