Work Life

South Boulevard tire shop will be upfitted into dining, coffee, office plaza

Courtesy of Ascent
A former tire shop at 3601 South Boulevard will be renovated
Courtesy of Ascent A former tire shop at 3601 South Boulevard will be renovated

A former tire shop at 3601 South Boulevard will be renovated into a modern shopping plaza this fall. Potential tenants will include full-service restaurants, a coffee shop, medical offices and other neighborhood services to serve the people of the surrounding area.

The building has been a long-standing fixture on South Boulevard located on the edge of the Colonial Village and Sedgefield neighborhoods in an area recently coined LoSo. It was built in 1950 and was a toy store until 1967. In the 1970s and 1980s, it housed a power tools company and a novelty curtain store. It has been used for auto-related purposes since the 1990s.

New storefront glass and multiple facades will be incorporated into the building’s design.

Building preservation

“We want to make sure that we’re embracing the building that we have,” said Mark Ethridge, Partner at Ascent Real Estate Capital, the group that will be renovating the 6,500-square-foot property. “We want to acknowledge some of the existing architectural features that were there and make sure our design embraces them, while adding some vibrancy.”

Ascent is working to conserve elements of the history of the old shopping center throughout the rehabilitation process. 

“Preserving old buildings is important and adds characters to neighborhoods,” Ethridge said. “It retains the personality of corridors like South Boulevard that have been important commercial corridors for our city for many years. We think it is important to do that when we can.”

Ascent’s conservation of the tire shop is part of an adaptive-reuse trend that is growing across the city. Historic buildings are being renovated into new purposes, including restaurants and bars, as opposed to seeing them torn down.

“There are certainly challenges with renovation. We do a lot of adaptive-reuse work, but you never know exactly what you’re going to get when you lift back a curtain on a building like this from a structural perspective and utilities perspective,” Ethridge said. “There are inherent challenges to taking buildings that are 50-60 years old and taking them to meet a modern design footprint.”

Ascent plans to start renovations in the next few weeks to have the building ready for tenants in late winter/early spring. 

Shopping center next door also renovated

The group also bought and renovated the neighboring shopping center in 2016. 

“The center had suffered years of deferred maintenance, and 60-70% vacant,” said Davis Hahn, leasing specialist for Ascent Real Estate Partners.  “But we saw that as a growing area, a lot of retail is heading south along the light rail.”The renovated neighboring plaza now includes Ski Country Sports, GW Boutique and Seoul Poke Bowl.