Was downtown yesterday on a townhouse finding project, and also to check out a for sale by owner property and had an opportunity to stroll down upper King St. for the first time in awhile. My day started checking out a gutted carriage house off George St. What a disaster. If you’re looking online and there seems to be a lack of flattering pictures…guess what? There’s a reason for it. There were these huge, 6ft tall putrid green transformers surrounding the structure. Inside, it was like I was on a archaelogical expedition. You could see where the old stove was; there were these 4×16 foot beems supporting the second floor. Pretty neat. And not much else. A white wire leading to a stark white bulb, no fixtures of any kind; just a big brick box with a red roof. The problem was outside, really. The monstrous green transformers ruined any potential to turn this relic into a gem. I suppose one day someone will come along that can’t resist the history.
Anyway, back to King S., well…we’re not there yet. Stopped to get some street meat at the hot dog stand. I was desparately hungry and so indulged in the $4.00 combo, two dogs, chips a huge cookie and a drink. Oscar Meyer dogs, not the awesome hard case kind you get in NY, but still, there’s just something about chomping down some dogs outside in the Spring weather. Spring in Charleston is amazing for many reasons, and so I’m glad I had a business excuse to go downtown on a Tuesday afternoon.
Next on my agenda was a house on Mary St. advertised as a for sale by owner. I was supposed to stop by the rug shop to ask Jim for the key but Jim wasn’t there, so I had to settle for a drive by. In the meantime, I had a great parking space, so I decided to take a walk toward the Francis Marion Hotel. I was pretty surprised…most of the store fronts were full with an interesting array of shops, frequented mostly by locals I suspect. King St. Antigue Mall; “Chars” Lounge and Tapas Bar; Charleston Beer Works, “Dwelling” interior design center, and several other furniture/decor stores. Other shops and restaurants, I didn’t really have time to stop and take it all in, or take more thorough notes. Just wanted to put it out there, whether you’re visiting from Spain, Atlanta, or North Charleston, make it a point to check out the latest on upper King. It’s easy enough to find parking near the vistiors’ center on Meeting St. and then just cross over to King. Or, if you’re staying downtown and will be coming on foot, just get to the Francis Marion Hotel, and keep heading up King.
The house on Mary looked prety dissappointing, honestly. More of less of any eyesore from the outside and definately maintenance challenged. But, it’s in a hot transitional area, and I’m sure It’ll be a gem one day. The owner was boasting about all these great upgrades in the kitchen, Subzero this and that. He should have spent his money tearing down and replacing the rest of the rotten wood on the outside first Maybe he already is, we’ll see.
Many people dream of downtown living, Cara and I included. The viable choices under a million bucks are dwindling rapidly. We will have town home choices to look at in the $500-$800k range, but not much. It took me a couple of days to get on the same page with my clients; they got a step ahead of me in preparation for their Easter Weekend visit, so I’ll pass along to you what I just told them. Generally speaking, the lines between OK, and just plain dangerous zig zag around north of Calhoun. I can’t give you a specific line or even neighborhood. Wraggborough is very nice, but it’s right next to dangerous. It will get better, I’m sure. Have to be careful about what I put in print about the not so nice neighborhoods, it’s too easy to find out where I live and I really don’t want to offend the wrong person.
Bye for now.