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Repurposing/Rehabbing Old Buildings

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:36 pm
by blockislandguy
While its nice to read about guys who build new shops, some of them simply hobby shops, behind their home it would be interesting to read about people who are repurposing and/or rehabbing older buildings to locate their business. Here in the urban Northeast there are many advantages to locate in urban areas including city water and sewer, heavy power, the existence of natural gas for heating and your baking oven, and being near your customers and local suppliers. Last but not least the building is already permitted for a business. Someone building a shop behind his house may find some years later that his new neighbors might start asking questions. Plus there are a lot of 10,000 square feet of larger building for sale or rent as businesses change and move.

I mention 10,000 square feet because it seems to me that somewhere between 7,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet is the minimum space you need for a successful diversified shop including space for tear down and cleaning, machine tools, assembly, testing , offices and pallet racking to store cores. Please don't think you can store your engine cores outside under tarps. It isn't going to work. A company in Maine that had their cores and other supplies stored outside in a heated trailer parked behind their shop. One winter night the heater failed. When they finally realized that the heat was out , they found frozen blocks of junk in place of cores.

Today I saw an empty former bowling alley in the Berkshires of MA. It would be ideal for a growing shop because it already had a large single floor layout, probably had three phase 220 coming in, a multi acre paved parking lot, etc. The roof would be ideal for a solar panel array which is encouraged and subsidized by the State of Massachusetts. The only negative I could think of was that it had limited overhead height for pallet racking. It could be purchased for well under than the cost of new construction and be far easier to get financing on.

Or take a multistory mill building. They again would have heavy power coming in and numerous loading docks. With a little imagination you could pick one up inexpensively and with the help of the local government, rehab it. Most mill buildings have good bones and were built to last. Your shop would be on the first floor and you could put some apartments on higher floors.

Re: Repurposing/Rehabbing Old Buildings

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:17 pm
by randydupree
I did exactly that,and i live in it too.
long thread

Re: Repurposing/Rehabbing Old Buildings

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:04 pm
by blockislandguy

What a fantastic example of what a guy can do with an old building, hard work and some imagination. Thanks for the good ideas and showing us the great job you did.

Re: Repurposing/Rehabbing Old Buildings

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:23 pm
by Kenova
randydupree wrote:I did exactly that,and i live in it too.
long thread
Epic Thread Randy. :shock:
Time well wasted. :lol:


Re: Repurposing/Rehabbing Old Buildings

Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:46 pm
by Krooser
I bought a 20 year old 5,000 sq. ft. pole building at auction… disassembled 1800 sq. ft. for my shop that's now next to my home and sold the remainder for what I had in the original purchase. the entire cost of the shop, including the original purchase price, reassembly, concrete, electric, interior was $5500.00. That was in '94. never could have afforded a new building so used was the way to go.