WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Brian Murray, chief executive officer of Washington Street Properties, is selling five buildings in downtown Watertown:
- 26-44 Public Square (the Commerce building, including the Cornerstone Cafe, Cook’s Manufacturing Jewelers, and NBC Watertown)
- 104 Court Street (Thrifted, North Country Custom)
- 124-132 Franklin Street (Autumn's Custom Gift Shop, Wonderland Tattoo Factory, Pegasus Hobbies)
- 18 and 22 Public Square (Speak Easy Hair Salon, Town Barber)
The buyers are Jake Johnson and his wife, Katie.
Jake Johnson says they’ve been wanting to get their hands on some downtown properties for a long time.
The sale includes properties on Public Square, Franklin Street and Court Street.
“I thought it was really important that we sell to somebody local and we’ve got so many projects underway right now, it’s hard to keep up. So we’ve been partnering with him and doing a lot of work with him. It was great to know that somebody who cared about downtown and prepared to invest in the properties would be taking them over,” said Murray.
The $1.3 million purchase might seem ambitious, but Johnson says there’s no such things as being too optimistic.
“Positivity is my mindset right now so I have no concerns whatsoever, it’s gonna be great for downtown,” said Johnson.
And he knows exactly where to start.
“I’m passionate about fixing the exteriors so the square can take on a new feel, so I’m gonna focus on the paint, windows, lighting, awnings, all the things that will increase the aesthetics,” said Johnson.
If the projects go according to plan, Johnson says it’ll be a great help to the beautification of downtown Watertown. But he notes he is merely one part of a collective effort.
“I think people are not only gonna be thrilled about this acquisition as it sits by itself, but more so the continued momentum, the continued successes. New ideas, new money coming to downtown, new investors. It’s a big picture,” said Johnson.
“Things are headed in a really great direction downtown. It’s a really great place to be,” said Murray.
The sales are not final yet as the Johnsons are still ironing out financing.
But, they are anticipating the sale to be finalized August 1.