BATAVIA – A large section of North River Street’s west side is up for sale, putting a prime piece of downtown Batavia commercial real estate on the market.
The four buildings extend from 5 to 31 N. River St., backing up to the east bank of the Fox River.
The buildings look out onto the brick-paved street, which has been a focus of the city of Batavia’s efforts to revitalize the downtown business district.
“The decision to sell the property was strictly based on the fact that we are retiring and will not be living in the area,” owners Mary and Bruce Harris wrote in a statement. “That makes caring for property difficult.”
The properties are being marketed nationally by CBRE, an Oak Brook commercial real estate firm.
The owners said the buildings may be sold separately or together in a single transaction, but declined to discuss the asking price. According to the CBRE listing, the property covers 1.1 acres.
“I am sure whoever purchases the property will want to enter into a new lease with our current tenants when their leases expire,” Mary Harris said.
The owners purchased the properties from the late Phil Elfstrom in 2008.
The first of the buildings is the imposing limestone edifice at 5 N. River St., home to Catalyst Physiotherapy, Performance & Wellness. Also doing business in the building is Soma Yoga Studio and The Salt Escape.
The next building to the north is a frame structure that houses The Book Shop at 15 N. River St. and The Instrument Exchange at 17 N. River St.
The building at 21 N. River St. is almost unnoticeable, set well back from the roadway and below street grade. It is occupied by Bruce Harris & Associates.
Finally, a large brick building sits at North River’s “T” intersection with State Street.
Bar Evolution occupies the space at 27 N. River St., while immediately next door and sharing the same exterior entrance is The Tea Tree, 29 N. River St.
The structure includes a large restaurant space at 31 N. River St. that has been vacant for more than two years. The multi-level restaurant space includes a sprawling outdoor patio area with a picturesque view of the Fox River.
Towering above the building is a large brick smokestack, a relic of Batavia’s industrial past and a noted landmark.
On the other side of North River Street is the city of Batavia parking deck, soon to be demolished to help make way for the One Washington Place mixed-use development.
“We think that once construction is complete the value of our property should increase significantly,” Mary Harris said.
Construction on One Washington is expected to take two years.
“As far as the current tenants are concerned regarding construction, I believe they know that the long-term benefits will outweigh the construction inconveniences,” Mary Harris said. “We went through this before with the rebuilding of River Street as a pedestrian-friendly street.”
Harris said the location of the properties on riverfront in the heart of the downtown will be a major selling point, along with One Washington and the expected redevelopment of the former Larson-Becker property to the immediate north.
“The buildings are in good condition and are rented by many different types of niche businesses,” Harris said. “The city of Batavia has been very helpful to us in promoting the buildings and helping us to secure tenants.”