It was nearly three months ago when we posted that the land and former auto shop at 6050 SE Foster was for sale. In that time, developers, small business owners, and everyone in between has inquired on the property. After all, 10,000 square-feet within a couple blocks of the “Heart of Foster” should be considered prime real estate.
But it was one of our own, a local business with strong ties to the neighborhood, and one that has already made its mark on Foster, that just might have made the winning bid.
Ok, they actually did make the “winning” offer; the sale is now pending. But with the property once serving as an auto repair center, and with assumed pollution that comes with such a business, there are environmental issues that must first be addressed before a sale can go through. With that being said, if environmental cleanup is relatively small—shall we say, not too financially exorbitant—it’s quite possible that Red Castle Games will have a permanent home on Foster.
Before we go any further, we should provide this disclaimer: the sale is pending, but there are a lot of “what-ifs” before the deal closes. In addition, the game store’s owner, Matthew Mičetić, felt it important to stress that there is no guarantee they’ll acquire the property with the many layers of process ahead. And as such, he wants to avoid any unnecessary disappointment if a deal cannot be had.
With that being said, there is reason for hope—even if just the idea that a permanent home base on Foster is something Red Castle is prioritizing. Because they are. Mičetić is very aware of the potential Foster has, and he has already invested a lot of his time, energy and resources (as business owner and chair of the Foster Area Business Association) in the district. They don’t plan on going anywhere. But they also know that rising rents on retail space will always be a burden. Hence the desire to own their own space.
The property in question currently has a free-standing building on it, sandwiched between the Y-Arts Center to the west and Paldo Market to the east. The existing building is comparable in size to Red Castle’s current space in Foster Plaza, though they’d be acquiring a sizable chunk of land in addition. That’s significant. And with a growing retail presence just a block and a half west (i.e. Backstory Books, Velvet Goldmine, Green Noise Records, and the multiple art galleries), they’d fit right in.
As far as we understand it, the environmental review will take 30 days, upon which a determination will be made to enter a second phase of environmental inspection or not. If the latter, there’s a high likelihood Red Castle will be moving to new digs sooner than later. If a second phase is required, more time will be spent determining just how extensive and expensive the cleanup will be. I believe that’s when things will get tricky. But with both a willing buyer and seller, there’s reason to be optimistic.
We won’t hold our breath, but we’ll certainly stay (eagerly) posted for updates.