Joe Crabbe and Rosario Amato, founders of the Original Italian Pizza chain, are building four high-end apartments on the top two floors of what was once the Howard and Jennings Pump Manufactory. The owners have decided to branch into real estate development by transforming this historic building that has been standing since 1879.
Roughly 27% of Americans think that real estate is an excellent investment. These pizza chain owners think so too, even though they have never been involved in this kind of real estate development before.
They just opened their small pizza shop, fitting 12 to 16 people, in Syracuse back in October. Even still, Crabbe decided to purchase the East Willow Street building in December for $435,000.
The apartments will each have two bedrooms and cover about 1,400 square feet of space. They will feature 12-foot ceilings, granite countertops, brick walls, and stainless steel appliances, according to Crabbe. Tenants will also have access to a rooftop terrace.
The apartments are expected to be ready in about five months, and they will cost tenants about $2,000 a month to rent. The first floor of the historic building will be comprised of 3,000 square-feet of commercial space. Crabbe and Amato originally planned to open a pizza shop, not part of their existing chain, on the first floor, but they already have eight shops open. So they decided not to launch a brand new pizza shop.
The building has great historic value. It is thought to be the first building in Syracuse designed by architect Charles E. Colton, who later designed Syracuse City Hall. It was constructed in the late 1800s as a pump factory, then it served other purposes throughout the years. It is known for its ornamental front and is described as High Victorian Gothic because of it’s pressed brick laid in black motor and gargoyles to match.
“I’ve always loved that building,” said Crabbe. “It’s a unique property.”