Athens Book Center Empty 2017

The old Athens Book Center on East State Street sits empty. 

There are a couple of buildings in Athens – some new and some old – that have sat empty in recent months, and the owners are currently seeking new commercial tenants.

The retail space that formerly housed the Athens Book Center on the ground floor of 74 E. State St. is currently empty. Building owner Michael Kleinman said recently that he’s seeking a low-impact commercial tenant.

Further down the street, the building that formerly housed Premiere Video (which closed in late 2016) at 284 E. State St. also remains empty. 

Larry Young, trustee of the building, said Sunday that he’s received quite a bit of interest in the building recently, but said he hasn’t made a final decision on a potential tenant yet. He said he’s looking for a “financially qualified long-term tenant,” with the tenant preferably being some kind of retailer.

Meanwhile, the ground floor of one of the newly reconstructed buildings on West Union Street between Congress and Court streets (after a fire razed some of the buildings in late 2014) remains unoccupied. Guy Philips, co-owner of the building at 16 W. Union St., said Sunday that he’s still looking for a business tenant after a potential lessee – a small restaurant chain from Columbus – dropped their consideration. 

He said the “highest and best use” of the ground floor space is a restaurant, but he said he’s not limiting his consideration to only those kinds of businesses. The top floors of 16 W. Union St. are currently occupied by rental units.

Similarly, a new apartment building at the corner of Carpenter and Grosvenor streets is also seeking a new commercial tenant for space on its ground floor. The upper floors are occupied by rental units, which have already been rented out for the 2017-2018 year, building co-owner Kristi Goldsberry said earlier this month.

“It (ground floor) could have a variety of uses,” Goldsberry said. “We did design it so that a restaurant could go in there, or a professional office or a retail establishment or something like that.”

Goldsberry noted that the building is located in a B3 business zone, and has on-site parking available.

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