7 Alby Street
Alton, IL 62002
Monday, September 8, 2006
By Linda N. Weller
ALTON – A tall, shiny forest of steel framing beams fills two levels of the old Mississippi Lime building, the jumble only hinting at the 10 condominiums that soon will divide the expanses.
Although drywall will not go up for another few weeks to give buyers a clearer picture of the units, four of the future condos already are sold. There also are several prospective buyers for the remaining six units in Mississippi Landing, said one of the developers, Duane Randall of Alton.
“This exceeds our goal,” Randall said of the buyers. “There is not going to be anything else like it in Alton. You've got the river view, indoor parking, handicapped accessible and there are all the high ceilings and amenities,” Randall said.
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The building is located at 7 Alby St., at the corner of Front Street, with a front-row view of the wide Mississippi River and Riverfront Park. Partners in Moonbeam Initiatives LLC closed on the 85-year-old building March 31. Mississippi Lime had owned the building since he 1930s, renovated it in the 1950s and removed asbestos in 1994.
Partner Dan Warren of Wood River said the old 14- and 18-inch thick brick walls, energy-efficient appliances, furnaces, air conditioning and oversized, heavily insulated windows will keep utility bills low for the condo owners.
Penny Schmidt is the third partner and purchased one of the condos. Warren and Randall also own Bluff City Builders, the contracting company that is doing the rehab work. Henderson Associates of Edwardsville is the project architect.
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Plans are to add small, private balconies on most units and create an atrium with trees and other plantings on an enclosed space on the roof of the lower area. They also plan to fix up another, more exposed portion of that roof for residents to use as a deck on the east side of the building. An adjoining lot will be enclosed with a gate and wrought-iron fencing for more parking.
Condominiums will range from 1415 to 2230 square feet, most with two bedrooms. They are priced from “just under $200,000 to just over $300,000.
The two floors have 11,000 square feet each; there is another 14,000 square feet on the lower level that will provide enclosed parking and four commercial spaces ranging from 300 to 4,500 square feet. Randall said people have inquired about commercial space who may want to open a restaurant or bicycle rental shop. No one has signed an agreement yet for that space, he said.
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Alton’s Streetscape program also will be adding new sidewalks, light fixtures, benches and trash cans in that part of the East Broadway area soon to add to its ambience.
Randall said the partners want to renovate other buildings into lofts on the perimeter of the West Third Street business district because Alton has great potential for such residential development. They also wish more people would initiate other loft projects to compliment Moonbeam’s developments and are willing to work with others who share this interest.
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