When the Chase Bank vacated the spot in front of the Oak Forest library in December, the speculation began as to what would take its place. Now Edge Realty Partners has a sign out in front of the library and is taking offers.
On Edge’s website, the bank is listed as available for lease. However, Edge’s Culver Stedman said that the owner would consider a sale for the right price. The price for lease is under wraps, except for serious inquiry.
Edge associate Travis Waltmon said that the building’s owner recently purchased it from Chase, although HCAD still lists the bank as owner. The space is being marketed for office, retail or medical use, but Walton said the use is unrestricted.
“It’s a freestanding building,” he said. “It could be used for just about anything if someone can make it work.”
It is across the street from Oak Forest Elementary so it would seem beer and wine sales would be prohibited.
Leader readers Carolina Chavez and Laura Tilley said that they hoped the building might become an expansion of the library.
“They could offer more interactive things for kids to do, like a Lego center,” said Tilley.
Stedman did say that Edge had not heard from the library.
The marketing flyer lists the building at 3,603 square feet and the land at 19,325 square feet. There are 16 parking spaces. The total population within five miles is 378,559 and the average household income is $83,523.
There is no shortage of reader ideas of what someone might do with the property. A coffee shop, a small boutique or gift shop, a kid friendly spot like a Mad Potter and a community center all got votes.
Lucy Cain wants an Oak Forest Cafe that serves an old fashioned breakfast.
“I wish we could do a co-op cafe for the neighborhood,” she said. “Other cities have been successful, I think it could work in our community too.”
“I think it would be great to have an afterschool place for kids from Black Middle School to walk to,” said Jason Holcombe.
“One of my dreams is a place where elderly could hang out during the day and children and pets could visit so that children have some exposure to the amazing patience and life experience of mature folks and so that elderly can enjoy the bursts of life giving laughter and joy that come from spending time with young children,” said Elizabeth Villarreal. “No real kitchen needed – just a community gathering place.”