Main Street properties sold at auction could include new Hamilton restaurant, businesses

An unnamed buyer of the building at 573-575 Main St. in Hamilton plans to add a restaurant there, the latest plans for an eatery along Hamilton’s Main Street corridor.

It was one property along the business corridor that went to auction in September to settle the estate of the late Hamilton dermatologist Dr. Louis Luke Barich. Those properties have all been sold or are under contract, auctioneer Myron Bowling said this week.

“Those are actually under contract and in various stages of beginning (closings), so they should all be sold here shortly,” Bowling said.

The properties in the 500 block of Main Street are a significant part of the city’s business area, “and the Spooky Nook development obviously played a factor, and that had people excited to own this property,” Bowling said.

“I think it is, too,” said real-estate agent Bob Kugler, who works with Bowling at Bowling & Kugler Realty.

Kugler said the sale of the building commonly known as the strip center, at 500-512 Main St., “is pending,” as is the house at 559 Main St. and the building at 573-575 Main.

“The one at 573-575 (Main), that person’s buying it to put a restaurant there,” Kugler said.

“And the people buying, at Main and F, the strip center there, they feel like there’ll be additional opportunities because of Spooky Nook,” he said.

The two will not disclose purchasers or prices until the deals are finalized.

“Personally, I think Spooky Nook is pushing it (development on Main and High streets) right now,” said Kugler, who has worked in the Hamilton market 35 years. “The economy in the whole town is fantastic. Prices are up, people are buying, inventory’s going quick. Hamilton’s doing well.”

In those 35 years, “it’s as good as I’ve seen in Hamilton, across the board — housing, commercial, industrial properties, everything,” he said. “Hamilton, the officials, have done a fantastic job here. I mean, even without Spooky Nook, the town’s booming. That’s going to be the icing on the cake, really.”

“You have to get reservations to go to restaurants in Hamilton now,” he said. “That’s never happened in my lifetime.”

The city in October bought vacant property at 509-515 Main for about $30,000, so it controls the land next to the building at 501 Main St., which is at the southwest corner of Main and F streets. City government in mid-2018 unsuccessfully sought proposals for how that building might be used. Possibilities for it could include a store or restaurant, with apartments on the upper level.

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About 75 percent of the 20 properties in a variety of places that were offered at the auction sold that day, including those associated with the “Fortified Hill” earthworks, with the rest were offered for sale afterward.

The earthworks are believed to have been built by the Hopewell people some 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists, historians and others interested in their preservation, led by the adjacent Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, plan to create world-class educational parkland with a museum and other information about the site.

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At the September auction, Seldon Brown, a Hamilton native who operates The Little Woodshop on Main, successfully bid on that property at 571 Main St., where he rebuilds, refurbishes and repairs furniture, architectural pieces and many other items. He paid $43,884.

The several-month gap between the auction and finalizing of the last sales is “how it goes — that’s real estate,” Bowling said. “It hasn’t taken an exceptionally long time. If you list a property, traditionally, you list it for six months.”

Kugler said a couple of empty lots remain for available, one on Smith Road and another on Pyramid Hill Boulevard.

Meanwhile, another restaurant is planned for 201 Main St., where Cafeo Hospitality Group plans Billy Yanks, a casual hand-crafted hamburger restaurant.

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