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Radcliff renovates 'eyesores' into chic living spaces

January 18, 2015    


When Radcliff started his first big downtown residential project in 2012, folks didn't seem too sure about it, he said.

"They were skeptical, but I've sold all of these without even advertising, just by word of mouth," he said.

Now, all but one of the 10 high-end, custom-built units in the Renaissance Building are sold.

"I sold three of the last four this week," he said on Thursday. The final unit is the largest, with 5,200 square feet, including a sweeping staircase and elevator.

Radcliff is confident the trend of downtown living is a growing one.

"Ask me if I like my house, and I'll say, 'Yeah, I like it,' " he said. "Ask anyone here (in the Renaissance Building) if they like where they live, and they say, 'I love it.' You can see it in their eyes."

Dr. Meghan Elkins, an optometrist at the Huntington VA Medical Center, is one of them. She led the way in moving into Radcliff's Renaissance Building and said it's exciting to be part of the downtown's renaissance.

"I like being really close to all the restaurants and Pullman Square. It's been helpful and easy," she said, adding that she's anxiously awaiting a downtown market or grocery store.

Another resident of the Renaissance Building who is excited about the downtown revitalization

is Sherry Houck, senior vice president of commercial lending at First Sentry Bank. She and her husband are empty-nesters who had lived in northern Wayne County and were tired of mowing and all the upkeep of having more property.

"We wanted something convenient with less maintenance," Houck said. "We absolutely love it down there. Convenience is the biggest thing. I like the fact that there are a lot of things going on in Huntington now. There are a lot of assets there with Pullman and the restaurants, and we like being down there."

While it's convenient to go out to eat, she also loves to cook, especially in the custom kitchen in her new condo. She also likes that they could design it themselves, choosing an industrial look with exposed brick and pipe. And now that they have less driving to do, they have more time to enjoy it, she said.

"We wanted to have more free time to do things we wanted to do," Houck said. "We like to bike ride and go to the Huntington YMCA and run downtown and in the park. I could not be more pleased with our decision to move downtown."

The 12 Angel Building apartments are not as far along as the Renaissance condos, and they will be smaller, rental units, with a price point that is likely to attract professionals, such as physicians and professors at Marshall, Radcliff said.

A lot of the historic character of that building will be restored, he said, including the original flooring and facade. The building was formerly a department store that sold men's clothing, including the brand Hart Schaffner & Marks.

"The front will look exactly the same as it did," said Radcliff, who said he's already had inquiries about the apartments there.

His decision to renovate it came about like many others.

"I just hyper focus on buildings that are in a good spot but have become an eyesore," Radcliff said. "I get tired of looking at it and want to fix it up."

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