At first it seemed like a great idea for local company The Sextant Group to purchase an old government building on West North Avenue.

The company wants to expand, but has no room to do so in its current location in the Riverside Center for Innovation. When Sextant Group CEO Mark Valenti saw the old Allegheny City Stables on North, he immediately liked it.

And then the cost estimate for renovations came in.

“I’m not sure if I want to go down to the bar or to the Ninth Street Bridge,” Valenti said.

Despite the higher-than expected cost estimate, Valenti is still hopeful about purchasing the building and renovating it, but it will depend on an appraisal to determine the value of the property after renovations are complete.

If the property value is projected high enough to warrant the cost of repairs, Valenti said he would go ahead with the project and look for ways to bring the cost down and/or to secure more funding.

“The building’s in bad shape,” Valenti said with a sigh.

Bad shape, indeed. As reported by the Post-Gazette, the entire third floor is gone, and the roof might as well be too.

At least Valenti has the blessings of the Historic Review Commission, who got behind his plan at a meeting during the second week of November. The Allegheny West Civic Council also supports the plan.

But if you’re looking for a shining success story of development on the Northside, Valenti said, you might be looking a little too early.