Vision Realty Purchases Office Building
in Downtown Mena Arkansas

David Oates
Vision Realty

The "Old Elks Lodge" Circa 1908 Home of Vision Realty

Patti K. Oates
Vision Realty

Vision Realty Purchases Office Building

(Mena Arkansas. July 2005)  A dream came true for David and Patti Oates, owners of Vision Realty when they closed on the purchase of the Old Elks Lodge where they have had their office since 1991.  Patti and David said that Mary Rawlins, attorney and previous owner of the building, sat down in front of their desk and asked if they wanted to purchase the building.  Naturally, with tears in their eyes the answer was, "Yes".

The Old Elks Lodge was built in 1908 and is on the National Historic Register.  Mary Rawlins and her uncle, Fred Rueking, purchased the building from the Elks Lodge in Mena.  The building had suffered from a fire and was in need of much repair when they purchased the building.  Mary Rawlins purchased oak floors from an old home that was being torn down to repair the wood floors in the lower level of the building.  All the window glass had been painted.  The walls were plaster.  It wasn't until 1996 that the verandas were added back to the front and one side of the building.  It is at this time that the building was approved for the National Historic Register.

Patti says she remembers the first time she walked into the building.  It was dust laden with lumber and a myriad of other items cluttering the lower level.  She said, "I could just envision my real estate office on the lower floor.  I told Mary Rawlins that I had the perfect furniture to set off this wonderful room and would she please lease it to me for my new real estate agency.  We spent many an hour on our hands and knees hand rubbing the oak floors to bring them back to their original patina before we ever opened the door for business.'

David and Patti plan to complete the renovation of the back half of the upper floor.  This is the only area of the building which has not received renovation.  Their plans are to finish this area out as a luxury apartment.  They said,  "It's back to removing plaster from the walls and ceilings and refinishing the pine floors."  Fagan Plumbing will take part in plumbing this area of the building and Darrell Fryar will complete the electrical installation.  The Vision Realty construction crews will handle the remainder of the renovation.  They are also considering the attic of the building for storage.  Diana Dugan, licensed assistant to David and Patti Oates, climbed the ladder and stood in the attic.  As David and Patti peaked to see, they noticed that the entire attic area, roof and all is tongue and grove red heart pine which has held is beautiful fresh wood glow for over 100 years.  David said, "I was amazed that you could stand up in the attic of the building."

A portion of the basement has a concrete floor which can also afford additional storage for the future.  Again, you can stand up in the basement of this historic building.  The Old Elks Lodge, home of Vision Realty, is truly deceiving in its size.  The soaring ceilings of the two stories with spacious open rooms include extra benefits of usable space in the attic and the basement of the building.  It's corner lot affords three sides of parking.

David and Patti said that they had looked and looked for another location to purchase and could never find the perfect building or location.  They enjoy the downtown location on the Talimena Scenic Drive instead of the U S 71 corridor.  It has been a successful business location for the firm.  And, because of the uniqueness of their office which is filled with antiques and interesting trivia, there wasn't another building in town that afforded the ambiance of the era the two owners desired.  They also enjoy when someone comes in to tell them that they were born in the building which was Mena's hospital on two occasions, or when someone tells them about their Prom night at the Old Elks Lodge.

David and Patti both said, "We so appreciate the support of the local community in doing business with our firm.  If it had not been for our wonderful customers, our business would not have afforded us the opportunity to own this wonderful building.  We feel honored that the "Baton" has been passed to us to maintain this historic structure. And we owe a special thanks to Jeremy Thornton and the staff at Mena Title Company for closing the transaction, to Russ and Romona Nichols of Farmers Insurance for insuring the building, and to Sarah Curry of Union Bank of Mena who assisted us in obtaining a mortgage on the building."

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500 Mena Street, P O Box 192, Mena, AR 71953
479-394-1111 ~ Fax:  479-394-0003 ~ Copyright 2001 through 2015
07/16/15 07:28 PM


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