Ron Bates, a former business executive and historic preservationist, is moving ahead with plans for more condos and retail on Elliot Park's Hinkle-Murphy block.
Bates said he exercised an option Aug. 30 on 2.1 acres along South 10th Street, bordered by Park and Portland avenues. The option covers three properties, including the historic Hinkle-Murphy mansion, 619 10th St. S., and adjacent parking lots.
The developer has 90 days to finalize terms of the purchase agreement, said Gabrielle Clark, a real estate broker with Garfield Clark and Associates.
Glenda Key, Bates' former wife who lives in Texas, is the current owner of the property.
Key and Bates renovated the Hinkle-Murphy mansion, built in 1886, and reopened it in 1997.
Bates' redevelopment proposal for the site includes 50 town homes and two 12-to-15-story condo towers with a combined 300 units. The plan also includes 26,000 square feet of commercial space.
Potential tenants include a bookstore and/or drycleaners, Bates said.
Earlier plans called for a grocery store, but Bates said grocers he's talked to have said the site is too small. "A grocery store is very iffy at this point," he said.
The site is also home to two art galleries, Outsiders and Others, 1010 Park Ave. S., and Gallery Atitlan, a new indigenous art gallery 609 S. 10th St. A new coffeehouse, EP Atelier, is set to open Oct. 1 next to Gallery Atitlan.
Bates said he'll work to include the galleries and coffeehouse in his redevelopment proposal.
He plans to go before the neighborhood group Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. in November to discuss his vision for the block.
Other options for the block, advocated by some in the neighborhood, including creating a cultural commons with the galleries, a coffeehouse and added green space.