MANSFIELD -- One of downtown Mansfield’s largest office complexes is now under new ownership. The Barrington One building, located at 13 Park Avenue West, was purchased by local investor Shane Allyne earlier this month.
Allyne saw the purchase as a good investment opportunity, as well as a chance to provide quality office space downtown and re-establish the “prestige” of the building.
“I think it's a very prestigious building. I think it has a lot of good businesses,” he said. “However, it’s not as prestigious as it once was. It used to be that if you had your office in here, you’d arrived."
With an estimated budget of between $400,000 and $450,000 and timeline of around two years, renovating the Barrington building is a significant undertaking. Fortunately, big projects are what Allyne enjoys most.
“I like to find properties that are in need of serious repair and not things the average person in real estate wants to take on,” said Allyne, who owns Heartland Construction. “My commercial construction experience is the main thing that made me feel comfortable taking this project on.”
Allyne wants to start with general improvements like updating the elevators and heating system, decluttering the vacant units, establishing an onsite management and maintenance team and adding magnetic security locks.
“We still have to have someone come lock and unlock the building, which is kind of old school,” he said.
In addition to overall improvements, he hopes to modernize some of the building’s vacant units by removing wood paneling, updating the flooring and adding air-conditioning units.
“The goal is eventually to get the whole building on a central air system,” he said. “A lot of the building already is and as we’re going through to update and renovate these suites, we’ll add more central air units.”
In at least one unit, Allyne hopes to tear down the walls and replace them with removable ones for a more flexible space. He hopes that upgrading the building’s vacant units will attract more businesses downtown.
“I want a space where somebody is proud to invite their customers in. That’s what I want to provide for companies,” Allyne said.
Barrington is home to a number of long-time tenants, including Haring Jewelers, Chicago Title and Drs. Huber, Pelkey & Associates.
When asked what he envisions once the building is fully occupied, Allyne said he hopes to see an eclectic mix of existing small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.
“I would like to add some (more established clients) as well as creating spaces for startups or for people who are ready to move their businesses out of their home, take that next step,” he said.
Ultimately, Allyne hopes the project will benefit the city.
"We want to bring prestige back to it … I think that helps out Mansfield as a whole because then that spills over," he said.
"Any time somebody buys a property and they put money into it it helps all the other properties around and helps this encourages those landowners to renovate their properties to fit into the neighborhood," said Barrett Thomas, director of economic development for the Richland Area Chamber and Economic Development.
"It's always helpful when you have active landowners that are improving property and making spaces more usable. It makes it easier to attract new business or for local entrepreneurs who are starting businesses to visualize themselves being successful when there's beautiful space that fits the market that they're looking in."