A local developer is in the process of buying the historic and long-vacant Burlington Postal Annex just south of the Old Market at 950 S. 10th St.
Walt Peffer of P.J. Morgan Real Estate said his client does not want to be identified yet or to release too many details.
But Peffer said the hope is to create a mixed-use project in the 1927 triangle-shaped building that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Typically, mixed-use developments combine residential with commercial retail and office space use.
“They've been keeping their eye on this property,” Peffer said of his client. “The time is right.”
Several hurdles, including financing, must be cleared before a sale can be final, said Peffer. Engineers currently are going through the building to conduct environmental testing, he said, and the potential buyer is also visiting with architects.
The four-story, 77,000-square-foot building is listed by P.J. Morgan brokers Ryan Ellis and Bob Lanphier at $1.6 million. It was built originally by Burlington so that the railroad could get a contract with the post office to transport mail by train, Ellis said. It was most recently used as warehouse space, but it has sat essentially vacant since the mid-1990s, he said.
Ellis said the building's seller bought the Burlington Postal Annex in the 1980s, thinking it would someday have a “creative” element to it while providing a place for people to live. The seller has since died, and the property is being sold by his family.
A failed plan in 2007 by an out-of-town developer had envisioned converting the property into 71 luxury apartments.