Oh what a miserable day of a near non-stop drizzle we had, and when expecting the rain to be over before dawn, our weather forecasters managed to strike out once again with their predictions. I did read an article today which confirmed my suspicions as well as having sent a few chills up my spine when reading about how this global warming is going to make winters in certain areas of our country all the colder. What they said, which makes sense, is the fact that the north pole is warming faster than ever which is causing the jet stream to wobble all the more. Now how many times have you ever heard the weather people talking about arctic vortexes prior to say ten years ago? I sure haven’t, and when remembering how bitterly cold some of our winter days were in recent winters, it all makes sense. I’m sure you do remember several times over the last two or three years their having mentioned Alaska being warmer than Mason City during one of those vortex events.
There were some errands I had to run first-thing this morning and while out, I couldn’t help but notice all “stuff” strewn about in the front and side yards of those many nasty looking rental houses and apartments we have circling out Downtown, and especially the ones at the north and west of Federal. If I had to live in one of those units and look at that mess on a daily basis, I’d be fit to be tied. What I noticed today, ties in with what I spoke about last night regarding first impressions. Now really, if you were visiting this City for the first time and saw such magnitudes of dysfunction, you’d be thinking twice about making any sort of investment in our Downtown. On a near daily basis, I’m picking up trash in the back alley of my office.
While pulling out of a bank today, I happened to notice the old Patton Real Estate and Insurance building back up for sale again which is located at 12 N. Delaware. The previous occupant was the Government Employee’s Credit Union which was absorbed by Cent Credit Union. The current owners have only owned that since the early part of 2018 when they purchased it for somewhere around $134K. As much as I would’ve liked to see them flourish with their casual-wear business, I knew from the get-go it wouldn’t last long because of the hard costs of keeping business going in brick and mortar buildings. The staggeringly high real estate taxes on commercial property, along with utilities, insurance, and upkeep, I knew the selling of t-shirts would not be enough to sustain that venture. On the sign they have posted out front, I read an asking price of $175K. Perhaps they’ll snag an out of town buyer for it and get it. The building next door to me sold for a big price to a Des Moines investor, and I recently heard that the Brick and Tile Building and the adjoining 2-story brick building went for a staggeringly high price to someone out East. Like they’ve said for years, “A fool and his money will soon be parted.” I personally wouldn’t have considered buying either one of them even if they were asking fire-sale prices.
By the time our Noon hour arrived, I had the last two bedroom unit over at Prairie Place on 1st sold to one of the sweetest ladies. I spent enough time with her and family these recent weeks to know she’ll be a great fit in that wonderful community of seniors. With that one unit remaining, I’ll have to really start beating the bushes in getting that 1 bedroom 1 bath sold. I did mention it to one of my clients today who has a delightful parent who’d be yet another good fit. If he did purchase it, I’d forevermore consider him the keystone of that complex. Just remember, the keystone is the last to be inserted when building something that’s enduring.
I forgot to mention my having heard another part of the story as to why that building at the corner of south Federal and Hwy 122 is still there with the parapet yet to be fixed and the traffic barriers remaining in place. Well, what I heard, is the owner of that building is now going after the DOT for the supposed damage their big machinery had done when working on those sections of highway on the two sides of his building. When I heard that, I had a bit of a chill because that was one of the first things that came to mind as being the reason that parapet collapsed. Now just think about it when considering the amount of resonating vibration that takes place with those monster machines, along with the others being used to compact backfill into place.
Back when our office was at the corner of N. Delaware and 2nd St. NE, there were times when those 18 wheelers would go by and cause our big windows to rattle. I’m sure all of you at one time had a washing machine go out of balance in the spin cycle, and the vibration from it nearly rattling pictures off the walls your home, and especially if those machines were on the main floor. You can be absolutely certain, the power of resonance is far greater than you’d ever think. Well, just think what the resonating energy of an earthquake can do to homes and buildings that are miles away from its epicenter. Just because you can’t see that energy, it’s very much still there. I wish him luck in proving the root cause of that collapse was due to those big machines. I’ll never forget the day I was seeing it collapsing from a distance. We should all be glad no one was killed under those hundreds of bricks falling.
My last appointment of the day was to show 207 N. Hampshire which is still on the market and waiting for the perfect “fit” to come along. It was a good showing, but the buyer is one of those who keeps more quiet about likes and dis-likes, so we’ll see what these coming days bring. Just as the buyer was preparing to leave, I said, “I hope you have a good dream about it tonight.”, which is what I’ve always considered best after looking at a home, because a good “sleeping” on a major decision, is the best way to have all the pros and cons completely sorted out.
Tonight’s One-liner is: I’m sometimes a dangerous person when turned loose with a keyboard.