Coon Rapids HRA sells fifth home

The city of Coon Rapids’ fifth Home for Generations house has been sold and that, to all intents and purposes, will end the program that began in 2009.

The Coon Rapids Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) took action June 5 to approve the purchase and redevelopment agreement with the new owners, Joseph and Kurstin Dalton, of the rambler at 11635 Xavis St. N.W., as well as to give authorization to execute the deed and other closing documents.

Closing will take place July 15.

In May and early June the city hosted a series of post-construction open houses at the Xavis Street property, which was purchased by the city for $86,097.65 in April 2011, to showcase the just-completed remodeling project on the 1960 rambler by Legacy Homes, Inc., the contractor hired by the HRA to do the work.

The purpose of the Home for Generations program has been not just to purchase foreclosed/vacant older homes in the city, then remodel and sell them to recoup the city’s costs, but also to demonstrate to residents how older homes in the city can be brought up to date with remodeling projects.

To do that, the HRA hired a contractor for the remodeling work and a realtor to market the property.

But Community Development Director Marc Nevinski said in all likelihood this will be the last Home for Generations project in its present form.

The HRA has not purchased any more vacant/foreclosed homes for the project and none are in the pipeline, he said.

The housing market has changed since the program began in 2009 and all three major types of homes in Coon Rapids – ramblers, split levels and two-story – have been remodeled as part of the program, according to Nevinski.

“We are looking at the possibility of a phase two program that would be that would be privately driven, not city driven,” Nevinski said.

One concept that has been discussed with the council at a work session would offer city incentives for existing homeowners in older Coon Rapids homes to remodel and modernize them, but no concrete proposal has yet been sent to the council for consideration.

All five of the vacant/foreclosed homes purchased the Home for Generations project have been sold.

Public open houses took place prior to construction to show off the remodeling plans, another open house was scheduled midway through the construction process and once the construction was completed, several open houses took place to showcase the finished home to residents to demonstrate what they can do to improve and update their own homes and also to attract new homebuyers to Coon Rapids.

In the case of the Xavis Street property, the city had an offer on the property, which met its list price, before the post-construction open houses began.

According to Kristin DeGrande, city neighborhood coordinator, the Xavis Street home still had its original floor plan and had not been updated over the years.

“Staff worked with Legacy Homes {the contractor hired by the HRA} to rehabilitate the house and improve its functionality for contemporary households,” DeGrande said.

The remodeling budget was $40,000 and unlike the prior four remodeling Home for Generations projects, this work was split up into a series of smaller projects to give residents ideas on how to phase their own remodeling plans to make them more affordable, she said.

The offer on the Xavis Street property covered the HRA’s costs on the purchase and remodeling of the home as well as other project expenses, DeGrande said in a memo to the HRA.

“We had several hundred people go through the home at each open house,” Nevinski said.

Councilmember Bruce Sanders complimented staff. “This is a really nice project,” he said.

The other houses in the Home for Generations program were a 1950s rambler on the 11600 block of Juniper Street; a 1970s split level on the 12900 block of Crooked Lake Boulevard; a 1.5-story home built in 1959 on the 500 block of 109th Avenue; and a 1962 split-level on the 10900 block of Dogwood Street N.W.

For more information go online at http://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/housing/homeforgenerations.htm.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com


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