For friends and business partners Patrick Kleckner and Joe Popejoy, the real estate adage “location, location, location” holds true.
And that’s a major reason the two bought the old Kreuzberger Jewelry Store at 526 E. Broadway — and the attached 524 E. Broadway — as their first commercial property and downtown Logansport property.
“That was one of the best parts of it,” said Kleckner. “What drew me to it was just the location and what we could do with the outside.”
Centrally located, it’s three to four minutes from Logansport Memorial Hospital and about five to the east-end businesses, he said.
The two have been friends and business partners for about 11 years and have residential rental properties they own together. They’d been looking for downtown properties for about a year and a half, said Popejoy.
They wanted to help with the revitalization and growth they were seeing.
“We kind of wanted to do something downtown, make it look amazing,” he said. “It’d be nice to look like Kokomo or Lafayette.”
They’d looked at the building at 430 E. Broadway, where The Record Farm and Bonus Pints are now, and 303 W. Market St., which has been the previous site of Fisher Funeral Home, Frametime and Baker & Milligan CPA.
Ultimately, Popejoy knew the owner of Kreuzberger, Scott Burk, who’d let him know it was for sale.
Kleckner and Popejoy closed on the building on April 2 and proceeded to renovate it, first putting on the new roof over two months. During that time, they had to take up three spaces on Broadway in front of the building.
They felt the camaraderie of downtown then, as they got help and understanding from those down the block.
“U-Know Pizza and The Nest were just fantastic,” Kleckner said.
Popejoy agreed, “It’s been a great relationship.”
Then came the tuckpointing, other masonry work and painting the facade.
They finished 524 E. Broadway first, and during the first weekend in September, the law office of Sheryl M. Pherson, Lindsay R. Ruby and Amber N. Garrison moved in from the building to the east.
Now, they plan to renovate the 526 E. Broadway side over the next two months.
They’ve started and discovered an old, carved wood ceiling under the more modern ceiling tiles that they plan to preserve.
“Everything that could be saved, we’re going to save and reuse,” Popejoy said.
That includes the mid-century modern lighting fixtures that were in the jewelry store — now in storage — and the safe, which Popejoy bought from Burk.
Burk still owns the neon Kreuzberger sign, but they’d like to see if they can get that, too.
The sign and light fixtures could end up in the upstairs, which they plan to turn into Airbnb spaces after they finish the downstairs.
That will be a winter project, said Kleckner.
There are other things that are upstairs that will become part of the décor.
There’s a Quickflash photography sign they found upstairs and hope to restore. It’s from when film was once developed in the basement.
And at one time, there was a barbershop with areas behind it where men could try their hands at boxing, too.
They’re also building new stairs to the second floor from the old jewelry shop, right by the front door. Originally, the stairs were on the east side, Popejoy said. That entrance was sealed up and the stairs removed.
When they reopened it, they found not just the Quickflash sign but coffee cups and a 1950 newspaper.
“Like they just left it,” said Popejoy. “They just shut it off and were done.”
They hope to have the spaces upstairs rented long-term for traveling doctors or a similar business situation.
For the remaining space downstairs, they’ve had some interest but won’t pursue anything until they are far enough along to know what layout could be and what layout the business needs — and whether the two are compatible.
Right now, they’re concentrating on their abilities to renovate together.
“We both have that gift to see something and see the potential,” Kleckner said. “There’s a certain something to take something and bring it back to life.”