Mid-construction open house held for Coon Rapids’ Xavis project

Residents were given the opportunity Sunday afternoon to see the progress that has been made on the remodeling taking place at the city of Coon Rapids Home for Generations project at 11635 Xavis St. N.W.

Kristin DeGrande (right), city of Coon Rapids neighborhood coordinator, talks with John and Anne Davis about the city's Home for Generations project at 11635 Xavis St. N.W. during the mid-construction open house Sunday.
Kristin DeGrande (right), city of Coon Rapids neighborhood coordinator, talks with John and Anne Davis about the city's Home for Generations project at 11635 Xavis St. N.W. during the mid-construction open house Sunday.

Contractor Darrell Olson of Legacy Homes Inc., who was hired by the Coon Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) for the remodeling project, started work in February, following a pre-construction open house.

The mid-construction open house at the home Sunday was to show residents the work that has been done to date.

“There have been a lot of changes,” said Kristin DeGrande, city of Coon Rapids neighborhood coordinator.

Interior demolition has been completed; the new floor plans for the main level and the basement have been framed; new plumbing, heating and electrical have been roughed in; and the front door and window have been relocated, according to DeGrande.

“We are extremely pleased with the progress that has been made and Legacy Homes has been a pleasure to work with,” DeGrande said.

The project has been going very smoothly and no problems have been uncovered, she said.

Olson is always open to new ideas and small changes have been made to enhance the project while staying within the $40,000 remodeling budget, DeGrande said.

For example, plans were originally to construct a concrete pathway from the relocated front door, according to DeGrande.

But now a front deck will be built outside the front door instead of the pathway, which will make for a better overall project at no additional cost, DeGrande said.

Some 150 people stopped by the home on Sunday afternoon. “All the feedback was positive,” DeGrande said.

Among residents stopping by to look at the remodeling progress were John and Anne Davis, who live in the same type of rambler in Coon Rapids as the one on Xavis Street.

They have done remodeling work on their home to the kitchen and bathroom and “were curious to see the changes that were being made to this house,” Anne Davis said.

According to John Davis, he has lived in a rambler almost all his life and it is important to “keep the history” of the home while remodeling it, for example, the cedar shakes.

Their home is bigger than the one being remodeled on Xavis Street – four bedrooms instead of three and three bathrooms instead of two – but the remodeling plans have given them some different ideas, John Davis said.

“We are very interested in seeing how it will turn out,” Anne Davis said.

And she said she also wants to find out what the city will allow in the front yard under current code.

Norm Kroeger, who lives in the same neighborhood on 115th, has also done remodeling work in his home and is interested to see the changes planned at the Xavis Street residence, he said.

“I like what they are doing here, although I am not sure I would do some of them myself,” Kroeger said.

Kroeger came to the pre-construction open house and his wife will join him for the post-construction open house once the remodeling project has been completed, she said.

“We are both anxious to see the finished product,” Kroeger said.

Arlene Wilson, a longtime neighborhood resident, said the project “is going to be nice” and she plans to be back for the post-construction open house.

Remodeling work is on pace to be completed by May 1, according to DeGrande.

A series of open houses, four or so, will be scheduled in May to show off the finished product and to market the home for sale, DeGrande said.

“The house will go on the market as soon as the remodeling is done,” she said.

The rambler, which was built in 1960, was purchased for the Home for Generations program by the Coon Rapids HRA as a vacant/foreclosed property last year.

This is the fifth vacant/foreclosed home that the HRA has purchased through the Home for Generations program since it was launched in 2009.

The purpose of the Home for Generations program has been to buy vacant/foreclosed older homes in the city, remodel them and then sell them to recover the HRA’s purchase and remodeling costs, not to turn a profit.

All four prior homes that have been purchased and remodeled have been sold, including two last year.

But more than that, the HRA, through the Home for Generations program, wants to give residents living in older homes in the city ideas for remodeling their own homes.

And in this case, the remodeling involves a series of smaller projects, rather than one large project, that residents planning to remodel their home could do so in stages as money became available, rather than all at once, according to DeGrande.

Legacy’s scope of work “does not resemble any of the past Home for Generations projects,” DeGrande said.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]