Part of Broadway renamed Jim Nutter Sr. Way

Jim Nutter Sr., bought his Midtown mortgage banking company building in 1964 in a dicey part of town and “Nutterville’’ and the area grew up around it.

Now 86 and still working, he grinned today at a surprise party that announced that a section of Broadway (43rd to Archibald streets) has changed names to Jim Nutter, Sr. Way.

The party filled that first building he bought at 4153 Broadway, which is still his mortgage company headquarters.

He now owns more than 20 Midtown properties, typically buying old houses, renovating them and changing them into office space.

And the yards include elaborate gardening that include more than 20,000 flowers.

Over the years people noticed and the media named the prospering area Nutterville.

His son, James Nutter Jr. described his father’s good works much in the terms of George Bailey’s savings and loan in the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The Midtown bank helped bring back an area marred by drugs and more, his son said. “It has helped anchor and stabilize the Midtown area, which we believe in.”

While other similar companies have moved headquarters to the suburbs, theirs has not and will not, he said.

Nutter Sr. listened to the praise and said, “Well, that’s partially true.”

But he first entered Midtown real estate in a big way because he needed a parking lot to go with that first building, he said.

The guy who owned that property owned four more and wanted to sell all five together.

Nutter said he resisted but the seller had problems related to drug addiction and badly needed money.

The price for all five was cheap and Nutter became a real estate player, he said.

“That’s the real story, pure luck, pure luck,” he said.

What followed was decades of community building and activism in a wide range of political and civic affairs.

It is not over yet, he said. “I do enjoy coming here to work every day.”

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