business as unusual i

Our office building seems to be a reflection of 21st-century America.

Monday morning I’m working in my office and hear a vibrating noise. My cell phone? Nope. Back to work. More vibrating. Are they vacuuming the salon upstairs? Nope, they’re closed on Mondays. Back to work. And vibrating.

Turns out to be a work crew two floors up running a power saw. It’s been so long since anyone has worked up there I’d forgotten there was a renovation projection going on. Two years ago the real estate company that occupied the entire floor move out to a bigger space. Business was booming. There was no room for all their new realtors. So the space became empty.

Last year the building was sold. Well, not exactly. Last year a sale price and a closing date were agreed up by the landlord and a buyer. In the still-promising 2007 economy the buyer went ahead and gutted the entire second floor for his company’s new offices. Trucks were delivering construction material when the mortgage industry crashed. The buyer was hit with a double whammy. You see, the buyer, himself, was a mortgage company. His available financing tightened up on the one end, and mortgage customers dwindled on the other.

All work on the second floor came to a stop. There was no real estate closing. The handwriting seemed to be on the wall: the deal was dead, leaving the old landlord with no sale and 5,000 square feet of gutted, useless office space.

But, behold, there was finally a closing, just days ago, I learned, and the songs of economic salvation are once again coming from the second floor. Hallelujah!

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