Built From The Ground Up
by Gloria Wright - Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Take a look inside Vinny Lobdell Jr.’s Mission Landing condo.

Vinny Lobdell Jr.’s Mission Landing condo has not one, but two patios.

“When people move here from the suburbs, they don’t understand how much they’re going to miss having an outdoor space,” he said.

Although residents have access to a common area on the roof, outdoor grilling there isn’t allowed.

“People come and ask to use my grill all the time,” he said.

One of two patios at Vinny Lobdell Jr.'s Mission Landing condo. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

One of two patios at Vinny Lobdell Jr.’s Mission Landing condo.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Nine years ago, Lobdell bought the condo when it was one of two unfinished units at the Franklin Square building. There were no floors — just dirt. There was no plumbing, no heating, no electrical.

French doors in the dining room lead to a patio at Vinny Lobdell Jr.'s Mission Landing condominium. Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

French doors in the dining room lead to a patio at Vinny Lobdell Jr.’s Mission Landing condominium.
Photo by Gloria Wright | Syracuse New Times

Lobdell turned the empty space into a two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,616-square-foot unit. French doors on either side of the living room open onto the brick-paved patios. Both spaces were originally common garden areas. Lobdell bought both to create some outdoor living space for his condo, and to protect his privacy.

The two areas were so close to his ground-floor unit that “people could peek in the windows.” Lobdell tried to keep as many original details of the former factory building as possible, he said.

The bricks used as pavers in the patios are original to the building. Some of the trees he planted now provide shade to the patios. One of the spaces is accessible from the living room and through a gate from the outdoors. It is furnished with an outdoor couch, a chaise lounge and a coffee table.

On patio on the other side of the living room is furnished with a hot tub, a dining table and an outdoor gas grill. Lobdell plans to turn an unused space behind the grill into an herb garden, he said. (See head photo)

“I love to cook,” he said. “You can eat and cook out and then walk downtown and have a beer,” he said.

He put the condo on the market more than a year ago for $366,500, but changed his mind about selling.

“I will probably never sell this place,” he said. “I built this on my own. I worked hard on it.”