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A Heart for Preservation Helped Trans form Church into a Thriving Medical Practice

Building Alabama

When Dr. Kristi M. Esses embarked on a search for the perfect historic property to open a medical practice with her husband, Glenn, a vascular surgeon, she did her homework.  She needed a commercial space that spoke to her. She also needed an experienced commercial real estate agent with tenacity and vision.

She found both in White-Spunner Realty’s Sharon Wright.

After about six months of touring properties, Esses decided on a church designed by Mobile architect George B. Rogers, and built in 1921, on Dauphin Street in Midtown.  “We were looking for a new clinic site to renovate for a vascular surgery practice,” Esses said. “The option of building was not feasible and we were restricted with locations.”

It was the couple’s first commercial real estate investment for a medical clinic, and they needed guidance to navigate the myriad issues involved in rezoning, among other challenges. “The conversion of an historic church to a medical clinic was a huge undertaking,” Esses said. “From offer to closing was about a six-month process.”

Wright stayed with the couple through the entire process of re-zoning and subdividing the property before closing on the site.  “Sharon utilized her education, experience and trusted professional contacts to lead us through the negotiations, renovation costs, city approvals and designs,” Esses said. “She protected our interests along the way. She was a part of every step of the investment in this commercial property from beginning to end.”

The Esses family maintained many aspects of the original church, including the stained glass windows and a pipe organ. They even had someone play the musical instrument during a reception to celebrate the clinic’s opening. “We absolutely love our vascular surgery clinic,” Esses said. “The patients like it. The doctors like it. The location is perfect. ”

Want to know more about this cool space? Check out the story highlighting the new practice with dozens of additional photos.  Click here for Cool Spaces AL.COM Article


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