We are happy to be able to let you know that 616 Milam Street, most recently open as Eugene’s Guitars (closed circa 2008) is under contract! For years, the 3-story 22,000SF building has been a hot mess. Though it has been ‘technically’ for sale for a number of years, a hefty federal tax lien that would have cost far more to clear than the building was worth made a sale all but impossible.

Recently it appears, some legal magic was used (or perhaps the IRS simply removed the unpaid lien) and the building was made available. Enter John Cush, the developer of the Ridgeway Square condos at 721 Marshall who is currently working on commercial space and apartments at 719 Marshall. Cush told us this week he and investors have 616 under contract with intentions to close soon.

What will come of the historic building? Cush’s current plans are condos on the top two floors and commercial space on the ground. The building, like all downtown, has a varied past that includes a motorcar company, a cleaning, pressing and alterations company, American Furniture, Booth Furniture and finally, Haverty’s Furniture. Cush knows there is the likelihood that something remarkably beautiful lurks under the brick ground floor facade added after someone apparently took leave of their senses, and Cush would like to return it to that look.

The hunt is on for the photograph that shows what that look was. With the sale of this building, 634 Milam (the old Saenger Pharmacy) and the listing of the former Goldring’s Department Store across the street, this important downtown block has the real possibility of coming back to life- and for that, we give thanks this Thanksgiving week.