EVANSVILLE − Nonprofit organization HOPE of Evansville has a mission of helping local residents find homes, but HOPE has never had its own home − until now.
HOPE of Evansville on Friday became the official owner of an empty building at 900 N. Main St. and will move its office there in 2023.
The sale was for $125,000. Burger King occupied the property most recently; it had been available for 5.5 years.
"Two thousand and thirty-three days," said listing agent Mark Miller of ERA First Advantage Realty Commercial. "It was time for it to come off (the market)."
HOPE of Evansville's current office is a former dentist office space on Southeast Fourth Street. Most of the agency's housing work thus far has focused on neighborhoods south of Lloyd Expressway -- Goosetown, Tepe Park and Culver. HOPE has 100 rental units in those areas.
The agency has dabbled in Jacobsville, remodeling and selling a home on East Tennessee Street and pursuing two other projects on Missouri and Delaware streets. HOPE wants to do more in the neighborhood, Executive Director Josh Calhoun said.
The agency hosts financial literacy classes, and the new office is situated on a METS bus line. HOPE had five employees when COVID hit in spring 2000, but it has since grown to nine.
"We are running our of space and it was time to purchase a new office," Calhoun said. "We make other people homeowners, but HOPE of Evansville didn’t have a home. It only made sense to have an office, and we wanted to be in Jacobsville.”
HOPE plans to remodel the old Burger King's interior, landscape the property and upgrade its façade. Calhoun said HOPE will donate kitchen equipment in the property that Burger King left behind.
Evansville officials have prioritized redeveloping the North Main Street corridor for years, starting with a street reconstruction project and bicycle path followed by the Forge on Main affordable housing complex and Deaconess Aquatic Center project.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced recently that a grocery store, DG Market, will move into the ground level of Forge on Main. Newer restaurants such as Waylon's Diner have joined traditional ones such as Turoni's on the corridor.
HOPE of Evansville will be another new addition. Calhoun, who worked for the Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development and CenterPoint Energy before joining HOPE of Evansville, said he wants to have the move completed in the first half of 2023.
"My aggressive timeline is a four-month turnaround," he said.
This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Ex-Burger King on Evansville's North Main Street has new owner, use