The dilapidated cars that filled up the lot at the corner of NW 10 and Harvey were just starting to be cleared away earlier this month when Ahmad Bahreini's phone started ringing.
For more than 20 years, Bahreini has stored a collection of cars looking as if they were transported from a nearby junkyard. The 90-year-old brick service station, spanning 12,594 square feet, has been boarded up for so long that large trees are growing up from cracks underneath where doors once stood.
A dozen years ago, Bahreini's building at 308 NW 10 was no different from those across the street. But the corner now is surrounded by former flophouses turned into upscale apartments and previously boarded-up buildings that have been renovated and filled with restaurants and shops.
The old garage, with its detailed brick facade, is among the last boarded-up structures left in MidTown just north of downtown. Across the street, construction has started on a 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex that will be home to Dust Bowl, a vintage style bowling alley, and Fassler Hall, a German-style beer hall, live music venue and restaurant.
St. Anthony Hospital, meanwhile, is in the midst of building a $54 million expansion just west of Bahreini's garage.
Bahreini was cited by city officials at least nine times in the past few years. On Oct. 8, he was ordered at a hearing to address the inoperative vehicle complaints by Oct. 30. He did just that, surprising neighbors and passers-by.
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