Mark, right, and Chris Condodemetraky of G.C. Engineering, Inc., have breathed fresh life into the Piscopo Block, which with their headquarters and 20 tenants has become a hive of activity on Main Street. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)
By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The Condodemetraky brothers, Mark and Chris, not only created a new home for their firm, G.C. Engineering, but in acquiring and renovating the Piscopo Block at 633-637 Main St. have provided premier space for a score of diverse enterprises.
Built in 1926 by Benjamin Piscopo, the child of Italy who also gave the city the Colonial Theatre, the three-story Piscopo Block heralded the advent of Main Street as a commercial hub, but in recent years its rooms stood empty and its hallways fell silent for want of tenants. But, this week, when the Condodemetrakys and their tenants hosted an open house the landmark was alive with admiring visitors, who found an array of tasty treats at every doorway.
The brothers purchased the building last year with financing from the Bank of New Hampshire and the Belknap Economic Council, which provided a bridge loan of $79,250 to meet the loan-to-value ratio required by the bank, and invested another $100,000 of their own to finance the renovations.
"If it were not for the Belknap Economic Development Council, we wouldn't have been able to do this," Mark Condodemetraky said.
G.C. Enginneering, with open-plan offices on the third floor, occupies about half the 20,000 square feet the building offers, sharing the top floor with the Pat Wood Law Office.
Mark Condodemetraky said that work on renovating and reconfiguring the upper floors began last April and when it was finished in the fall inquiries about leasing space followed at once.
There are no fewer than 15 tenants, representing a wide array of services, on the second floor: ABNER Trophy and Awards; A&D Recovery Counseling; Bassett Investment Group; Julie Bucciarelli, Massage Therapy; Carey Hough Photography; Granite State Auto School; Gudrun Stanton, Massage Therapist; Healing Lakes Chiropractic; Nantomics LLC; People Invested in Community and Kids (PICK); RMON Networks; Real Life Training; Thai Yoga Body Work; Yoga from the Heart; and Kathy Twombly Acupuncture.
All My Life Jewelers, Greenlaw's Music and MC Cycle & Sport ply their retail trades on the ground floor facing Main Street, while David Bownes practices law at street level facing Canal Street.
Founded in 1978 by the Condodemetraky family, G.C. Engineering aspires to become the premier firm in New England dealing with flood plain management, flood zone determinations and flood insurance, and works with the National Flood Insurance Program and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The firm also owns residential properties in the city and environs, which are managed by its property management team.
"We're not done," said Mark Condodemetraky, standing in the remaining space still being renovated. "We went into this as owner occupiers with a 10-year plan. We're looking to grow and add employees."
Mark Condodemetraky said that the renovation is nearly complete. The brothers replaced the roof, windows and boiler and restored the original charm of the interior by sandblasting the walls to expose the brickwork and polishing the hardwood floors to a warm luster. The building is wired throughout with high-speed Internet and Wifi service.
"I can't wait to do the terrazzo tile in the foyer and on the staircase" he said.
Linda Phelps of PICK described the building as "gorgeous" and lauded the Condodemetraky brothers for "making it grand once again."
Mark Condodemetraky said that he and Chris had long dreamed of owning a professional building in the heart of downtown Laconia and now are beginning to live their dream.
The reception area of the Pat Wood Law Office, one of the 21 businesses operating in the renovated Piscopo Block, showcased the modern interior of the century-old building. The building is located at 633-637 Main St. in Laconia. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)
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