READY TO RENT: Long-abandoned Guest House undergoing revival as The Albemarle

Samantha Hill

For the past 10 years the Guest House, now named the Albemarle, sat large and mostly vacant with exception of a few hundred pigeons  in Livingston’s downtown. Now with the help of a local developer, the building will once again be housing people.

Located at the corner of Park and Main streets, the Albemarle, owned by Carter Boehm, will now hold over 40 apartments and six commercial units along with a large, manicured court yard and public restrooms.

Boehm acquired the property eight or nine years ago and said he has since tried to figure out what to do with the building.

“I had three options: tear the whole thing down, let the building rot or make it work,” he said.

As of this month, nine units — all furnished — are available for rent, with an additional nine more going on the market Sept. 1.

In these studio apartments, the tenants are provided a Murphy bed, chairs, a flat screen television with a small kitchen unit and a balcony with the rent in $600-per-month range. At about 400 to 450 square feet, they are what Boehm calls “efficiency units.” There are also unfurnished efficiency units available in the $400 range.

Other parts of the building will contain six larger units from 900 to 1,200 square feet in size, with the possibility of multiple bedrooms and a full kitchen. These units are in the early stages of development so there are no prices listed, general contractor Richard Smith said.

On the ground floor, Christie’s Brokers is expected to be the first tenant to move into the commercial space, and following its lead will be a Bozeman-based Thai restaurant.

He was able to get the restaurant into the building after he posted a Facebook survey asking people what types of eateries they would most like, Boehm said.

“About 80 percent of people said they wanted Thai food, while another 10 percent or so said they wanted Italian,” he said, adding he is working on getting an Italian restaurant in another unit.

While showing off the building Monday, Boehm’s core message was the idea of making downtown Livingston an area where people can leisurely walk around and visit shops. That is one of the reasons he worked with the city of Livingston and the Urban Renewal Agency to add public restrooms to the building, Boehm said.

The restrooms are located in the lobby where patrons may enter between 8 a.m. and possibly 8 p.m. without access to the upper levels for the residents’ privacy. The restrooms will open in upcoming weeks.

 Smith said he is hoping to have the building finished by the end of this year with the hardest parts of development complete, like connecting sewer and power lines.

The Albemarle office may be reached at 333-2085.