July 6, 2016
An old furniture store converted to upscale housing is drawing attention and tenants both.
It also is making a section of Rapid City, SD, the talk of the town.
“It’s so striking, it’s been such a dramatic change for that building,” said Eric Monroe, a registered architect in TSP, Inc.’s Rapid City office. “It’s really the chance for a rebranding of that western end of the downtown business district.”
Before the renovation, the Dusek Building was a nondescript white structure that few people noticed. However, the location was promising: the first intersection after existing Interstate 90.
Owner Erik Braun originally considered turning his new property, now known as 919 Main, into contemporary office space. According to an article in the Rapid City Journal, however, he changed his mind when he realized the downtown had an urgent need for upscale living space.
Braun asked TSP to create a living environment that would draw both working professionals and empty-next Baby Boomers. Young professionals want to live within walking or biking distance of their jobs and the city’s social center filled with restaurants, bars, and eclectic shops. Baby Boomers no longer want to spend their time tending large homes and yards.
People choose to live in Rapid City because of the lifestyle or their jobs, Monroe said, but a more urban feel such as that found in cities like Denver also appeals to them.
One thing the old Dusek Building needed was an eye-catching exterior, Monroe said.
“The building was tired and dated, and we wanted something to draw your eye,” he said. “The colors we actually picked were based upon a warm brick palette. We played off the brick of the adjacent historic building next to it. We were doing an abstraction of the brick, although a lot more vibrant.”
After the furniture store closed years ago, the building housed offices. The last of the existing office tenants moved out in July 2015, allowing renovation to proceed quickly. Now, Braun told the Rapid City Journal, nearly half of the 15 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments have been leased.