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Realtors purchase property

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Two Realtors have purchased a vacant building at 301 First St. on the fringe of downtown Columbus, which they hope to turn into offices.

Re/Max real estate brokers Jean Donica and Annette Donica Blythe expect to file plans with the city to renovate the property, which sits at the corner of First and Jackson streets.

Donica, a longtime real estate professional in Columbus, bought the one-story building from Columbus businessman Jesse Brand in December for about $500,000, she said.

Since acquiring it, Donica said, she has been approached several times by other would-be buyers who have tried to gauge her interest in reselling it.

But Donica said she thinks the sprawling brick and metal building — which features seven large, rectangular windows gazing onto First Street — would be ideal for her company’s real estate offices.

Donica said she hopes to present more details to city planners soon but is reluctant to discuss her exact plans until her concept goes further in the approval process.

“I’m optimistic, but you never know what will happen,” she said.

Donica declined to provide a cost estimate of how much she thinks it might cost to rehab the building for office use at this point.

She said she had talked with Brand numerous times over the past few years about buying the site, but she was always told it wasn’t for sale. Late last year, Brand changed his mind, she said.

“We bought it. We’re excited, and we hope to renovate it,” she said. “The property is near everything downtown, and everyone who crosses into Columbus on the bridge can see it.”

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