On the morning of November 8, heavy equipment moved in toward a landmark home in the Reed Neighborhood. By the end of the day, much of the large estate at the corner of S.E. 33rd Avenue and Raymond Street lay in rubble.
Realty website Redfin reports the 8,644 square foot home at 4911 S.E. 33rd Avenue was built in 1982, and had five bedrooms, six baths, four fireplaces, and a three-car garage. Amenities included an office, fitness room, and home theater. The surrounding yard held a pool, spa, and tennis court.
Public tax records indicate the home last sold in July, when Renaissance Homes bought it from Arthur McFadden for $1.45 million. On that two-thirds-acre site, Renaissance Homes plans to construct five new houses, the company told THE BEE. Because the original estate stretched across a full city block, two of the new homes will be on S.E. 32nd Avenue, with three others along S.E. 33rd Avenue.
The new houses will range in size from 2,464 square feet to 3,000 square feet, according to Nancy Haskin, Director of Sales and Marketing for Renaissance Homes. Three of those houses will be three bedroom, three bath. The other two houses will have four bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths. Each will be two stories, with a garage. Haskin says the company expects to complete the homes in April or May, with prices starting at approximately $800,000.
"The sad thing about it is, it was a beautiful home," neighbor Sally Marr said of the demolished house. She lives nearby, on S.E. Raymond Street. Marr pointed out that most homes in the area were built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the mid-century modern style. She thinks the new construction is changing her neighborhood's character.
"People just come in and tear a house down and build these new houses that now make our neighborhood look less special," Marr said.
Nancy Haskin demurs that Renaissance Homes will not be building ultra-modern homes on this site.
"We are sensitive to the character of the neighborhood, and intend to build homes with style that will add to the value of the existing homes," Haskins wrote in response to questions from THE BEE. "The existing home wasn't representative of the other homes in the area, and was on the market for approximately one year."
Another neighbor, Dave Truman, lives on S.E. 33rd Avenue near the demolition site. He said Renaissance Homes made its plans clear to neighbors early on. "They gave everybody ample warning. They put a little flyer on everybody's door, saying they're going to demo this place."
Truman said he sees these changes as inevitable. "That's what they call progress, I guess. The land is more valuable than the house itself. If they can't sell it, they're going to build on it. That's Renaissance Homes. That's what they do."
Truman added that he knows several people who live in houses Renaissance Homes built in the neighborhood. "The people that live in those homes are very happy with them," Truman said.With the remainder of the former estate hauled away, construction will soon begin, on this very large lot in the Reed neighborhood.
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