Remember how excited I was to work with the utility department again? On Wednesday, Scott went to the building to do some clean up and the water was off, despite it running the whole weekend. Guess what that means...
Lady: Can I help you?
Me: Yes, I recently set up an account but when we were at the building on Wednesday the water was not on.
Lady: What is the address?
Me: 647 Broadway.
Lady: What is the name on the account?
Me: 647 Broadway.
Lady: No, what is the name?
Me: That is the name. It was set up in a business name.
Lady: (deep sigh) Okay. It says on December 8 the water was turned on and off. The work order was signed by John Doe.
Me: I'm not sure what that means.
Lady: John Doe signed that it was completed.
Me: Signed that what was completed exactly?
Lady: He didn't tell you?
Me: No, I wasn't there.
Lady: Then who is John Doe?
Me: Umm...doesn't he work for you?
Lady: No, that's the person that signed for you.
Me: Oh, that must be one of the roofers. They were the ones that were there on Monday.
Me: So...what does it mean that they turned it on and off? Because it was already on over the weekend.
Lady: But this was on Monday.
Me: (are you surprised I'm not yelling yet, because I sure as hell am.) Yes, I understand. So can you tell me why the water is currently off?
Lady: Well, John Doe signed the work order.
Me: But I don't know John Doe. He was on the roofing crew and they are not there now.
Lady: Please hold.
Lady: The water was turned on at the street and off at the meter. You can turn it on at the meter at any time.
JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH! How the hell hard was that to say fifteen minutes ago???
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Scott went back to the building Friday to do some more clean up in the basement, which out of the three floors involved, is by far in the best shape. This should probably be concerning since there is an original coal furnace about the size of a VW Beetle still hanging out down there. You could hide a body in that thing. Or ten. Pictures to come at a later date.
He got home around midnight while I was still binge watching this season of Haven and wrapping Christmas presents.
* * *
On Saturday we had the two SUVs filled up by noon to begin the process of relocating our inventory. One bike and steamer trunk at a time. It also began the process of meeting our neighbors. Guess what? Everyone has an idea of what we should be doing with the building that WE bought.
Mostly, they can't understand why we wouldn't turn the second floor into a rental apartment. First, one of my favorite features of the building is that there is a hole in the very center that goes all the way up to an amazing skylight in the roof and there is no way we are going to lose that. Second, we're greedy. WE want that space.
Also, there is definitely a misconception on what we do.
So you're an antique store? NO! When I think of an antique store I think of piles of furniture and Tiffany lamps that may or may not have any historical significance crammed into a dark and shabby building monitored by Miss Havisham. Often with inflated price tags.
So you're a thrift shop? NO! We don't just take in everyone's unwanted curbside trash. We almost always buy things that we would want in our own house if space was not an issue. And while, we certainly try to keep our prices reasonable, we are not a garage sale.
So despite helpful suggestions to open a dance studio (ballet or stripper), rest assured we have a clear vision. It may be hidden behind crumbling plaster and several layers of dust, but we've got it under control. Buy your own building.
* * *
On Sunday we took another load. At this point, Scott had the basement ready for his workshop. So it's time to move back down the washer and dryer that had mistakenly been brought up by the previous owner's movers and left in the middle of the first floor. If you were ever a reader of my personal blog, you may remember how much I love moving appliances up and down staircases. My affection has not wavered.
We also had a Nicole Curtis moment where we couldn't take it any longer. We had to see what was behind some newly boarded up areas near the entrance. We were not disappointed.
Renaissance Man has bought a building. A 4000+ square foot building. Seems a little drastic, I know. For those of you that weren't aware that our house looks like the next episode of Hoarders, it may come as a surprise that we would consider such an expansive undertaking so let’s lay down the timeline.
In June 2013 we decide that we need to get a storage unit. It was hard to get around in the garage. Flash forward to October 2014 (it’s an abridged timeline) and not only do we have a full storage unit and a full garage, we also have a full basement and I spend most of my free time rearranging our furniture so we can stack a steamer trunk here and hang a lantern there. Yes, you can walk around our living room and find price tags.
Enter Scott’s third favorite past time, looking at real estate. Nothing fancy mind you. Just a larger warehouse that would potentially have enough room to also work on bigger pieces instead of dragging them down the labyrinth that is our basement steps to the workshop.
While we would have loved to be in Tremont or Ohio City (closer to our hipster peeps – pretty sure calling them that negates them being our peeps, but we both just turned 40 so we have no use for learning new technology or slang – can you say mid-life-crisis?) it was just way out of our price range for what is essentially a hobby. So we turned west to Lorain County.
While perusing some cinder block shanties on the outskirts of such metropolises as Amherst and Elyria, he came across a two-story storefront in beautiful downtown Lorain that may or may not be related to a piece of property featured in a Tom Hanks and Shelly Long movie. So yes, we loved it. It has a skylight, people. And an elevator shaft that has been taking on water for a decade or two, but who’s counting? We’ll take it.
So here is the tail end of that timeline, unabridged…
Early November – Make a deranged low-ball offer that immediately gets accepted (no red flags there) and ask to close on December 1.
Late November – Incorporate. That’s right. We’ve gone legit. This includes actually changing our name. Scott was starting to feel awkward that Renaissance MAN might not have been a complete reflection on the effort. Unfortunately, most Renaissance variations were already taken. Stupid hotel chain. So we very cleverly looked up synonyms in a thesaurus. (I’ve had some advanced learning.)
November 29 – Go to an auction and buy more stuff. Duh! Series of unfortunate events…limited number of good items…a dealer from New York and a dealer from Texas show up at said auction in the middle of BFE Ohio and drive prices up on anything worth bidding on…the normal lunch counter is closed so I am denied the cheesey fries I have been dreaming of since emerging from my Thanksgiving food coma.
December 1 – Have not received closing documents but meet with a roofer to at least discuss the elevator shaft ceiling. This will involve having to rent a crane to get the materials to the roof. I refrained from explaining the pulley system I had just seen used on Alaska’s Last Frontier as an alternative. Fork over a deposit.
December 2 – Have not received closing documents.
December 3 – Sign closing documents but don’t have keys.
December 4 – Start work on roof.
December 5 – Told by Utilities Department that I have to come there in person with proof of ownership before they will put the water in my name. Upon arrival make a mental note to do everything in my power to NEVER have to return as it was akin to entering a 1990’s BMV.
December 6th was Saturday. Ready to put in a full day of clean up. Right after Scott goes on a run and I take Morgan to the eye doctor to get her new lenses cut to her glasses and Scott goes to an estate sale and we stop at the post office to mail packages…
Sidebar: we were shamed into bringing one package home because I mistakenly told the truth when he asked if there was anything fragile and then received a ten minute lecture on why it would never make it to Madison, OH in one piece even though it totally would. But here is a thought. Most of his reasoning for it not making it there was based on it being thrown into the bottom of a large container and additional boxes being thrown on top of it. So why in the hell do you ask if it is fragile if you are not going to treat it any differently than a regular package????
…and then a final stop at Lowe’s.
This puts us at about 2 pm. Have to pick the kids up at 4 pm and get ready for a friend’s birthday party that has a 5:30 pm departure time. So that was about enough time to stare lovingly at the old millwork around the display windows and replace a light bulb on the stairway.
December 7th was Sunday, so obviously that’s when all the real work would begin. Right after we go make 50 pounds of Hungarian sausage with my family from 11am – 4pm. That was about enough time for us to unload a cabinet we had purchased at the previous days estate sale, sweep the main floor and change a few more light bulbs. So at this pace we are on track to open to the public in January. 2020. Be sure to come see us!
We will be moving to a new website soon! Keep tabs on us through my weekly blog on the creation of Revival.