River District’s next big thing: The transformation of The Star House on North Fifth Avenue, including apartments.

River District’s next big thing: The transformation of The Star House on North Fifth Avenue, including apartments.

BEFORE: From February 2020: The Star House at on North Fifth Avenue when it was sold for $250,000.  (Google photo)
AFTER: Or should that be “so far:” from June 4, you can see the changes at The Star House, including the return of windows on the second floor was well as enhancements on the street level. Hometown photo.
Above and below, additional “after” photographs show from The Star House on North Fifth Avenue. The top photo is from the adjoining parking area. The second photo is looking from Bale Street back at the building. Hometown photos from June 4.

Tuesday’s opening of Blossom Hill BBQ & Burgers drew a big response, from first customers to the ribbon cutting. It completed the latest big remake in the River District with much more on the drafting tables. But around the block, and just over the bridge from the law enforcement center, another building is quietly getting new life.

Then again, The Star House has been about new life for five decades. It opened in 1970 to “provide housing and substance misuse recovery for returning citizens to Rome. Over the past 50 years, Star House has helped countless people overcome their addiction and find a place in the Rome community,” according to a media release accompanying the building’s sale in February 2020.

The Williams S. Davies Homeless Shelter and LivingProof Recovery jointly assumed control of The Star House on Dec. 31, 2019 and, at the time, the groups announced plans to sell it and move the program to Lindale. Background. Two months later, it was sold for $250,000 to Rome’s Lanthan G. Smith.

In recent months, crews from Phillip Burkhalter Builders have been busy restoring the 7,500 square-foot, three-story building. As the top two photos show, bricked-over windows have given way to new window fixtures as both interior and exterior work continues. Building department reports show $52,000 in windows, doors and exterior work was permitted.

Once done, look for much-needed apartments, among the first of many more planned by a separate, sweeping redevelopment planned by Four Stones Real Estate.

 

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