Making a move

Cindy and Alan Michael outside  of their new location for Johnson Real Estate in the former site of Dr. Hanneman’s dental office.  Photo by Ruby Bodeker

Johnson Real Estate changes location

VINTON – The long time realty business owned by Alan and Cindy Michael since 2011 has been open for just under a week in its new 118 E. 4th Street location-- the former Dr. Douglas Hanneman dental office.  

“Doc Hanneman sold his building to Brian Parr who then sold it to me,” Alan Michael said as he stood in his mostly-finished new building.

“We are about 80 to 90 percent moved in."

The 415 1st Avenue building Michael’s realty business occupied up until last week was owned by Duane and Marilyn Johnson, the founders of Johnson Real Estate.

The Johnsons sold the building last summer to Gary McKenna and a few partners.

“We had first pick,” Michael explained of the sale of the building he only ever rented, “but this was a better fit. It made sense to move.”

“He took the jump into real estate!” said Lori Andrews, Johnson Real Estate’s office manager/agent.

“There was so much unused space in the old place,” Michael said.

He estimates they went from about 1800 square feet in the old building to 1200 square feet now.

The 4th Street location is also more convenient, said Michael, as it is located directly across the street from the Recorder’s Office and a couple buildings east of Benton County Title Company.

Michael’s one floor building is practically unrecognizable from Hanneman’s former dental practice.

“Construction began in November [2018],” Michael said.

“This is a Brian Parr original,” added Andrews.

The remodel was designed and coordinated by Vinton artist Brian Parr.

Parr’s ‘Stoney Arch’ painting--which now hangs at the front of the realty office--was Michael’s inspiration.

“The design was my idea and he [Parr] ran with it...I wanted an open floor plan front to back, with light all the way through,” Michael said.

In addition to the colors and feel of Parr’s painting, Michael also took inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School architectural style.

“It was in the back of my mind [during the design phase],” Michael said.

Wright’s Prairie School style invoked the open landscape of the Midwest by including lots of horizontal lines, open expanses, and natural elements.

The office is open now from front to back.

Quarter sawn white oak is featured throughout the space.

All the furniture--from desks to tables--was designed and built by Tom Kies Woodworks out of Jesup.

Soon a stained glass window piece designed by Dave Morrow of McDowells Building Materials will be installed just behind the front desk where Andrews works.

There are no floor to ceiling cement walls anymore.

A conference room, small work room, and Michael’s office are sectioned off by white oak half walls that feature glass windows at eye level, allowing even more light to flow horizontally through the space.

“I think this is a dream,” said Andrews of the new space.

The exterior still features Hanneman’s familiar striped awnings, but the Johnson Real Estate sign now hangs on the front of the building.

Michael has plans to update the exterior this summer, but is still in the planning stages of that project, he said.

Countless area designers and contractors worked on the remodel.

“Brian knows everybody,” Michael said.

It will be another three weeks to a month before the remodel is  completely finished, but it is open for business (and peeks from the curious) during that time.