Advertisement

Free house available in University Heights (shipping not included)


901 Melrose Ave., University Heights, April 30, 2018. — photo by Jordan Sellergren

A new Marriott hotel is coming to 901 Melrose Avenue in University Heights, which means the house that’s standing there currently has to go. Normally “has to go” in these circumstances just means “will be torn down,” but the developers who own the property are giving this house a chance at a new life in a new place.

University Lake Partners will give the two-and-a-half-story house free to anyone willing to move it. A barn on the property with an attached shed is also available.

“One of the members of the [University Heights] city council thought the house might have some historic value and wanted to keep it in the city,” Jim Glasgow, co-owner of University Lake Partners, said, explaining the origins of the house giveaway idea.

University Heights had a historical survey of the property done to determine what, if any, architectural or historical significance the three-bedroom, 1.5-bath house has. Probably the most interesting fact turned up by the survey was that it’s not possible to determine what year the house was built.

According to the records of the Johnson County Assessor’s Office, the house was built in 1895. The survey, however, determined that date must be wrong, because the house doesn’t appear in a 1900 atlas of the county. Instead of fixing a date for the house, the survey gives a range of possibilities for the “eclectically styled building,” concluding that “stylistic and materials analysis strongly suggests the building and outbuildings were constructed after 1904, but prior to the 1930s.”

901 Melrose Ave., University Heights, April 30, 2018. — photo by Jordan Sellergren

“There are some nice features to the old house,” Glasgow said. “But the plumbing and wiring would have to be replaced to bring it up to code.”

Before even getting to the cost of those upgrades, a potential home-claimer would have to consider the cost of moving the house.

“The estimates we had for just moving the house ranged from $60,000 to $150,000,” Glasgow said. “I don’t want to dissuade anyone from taking the house, but it looks like it would be cheaper to build a new house.”

That’s why Glasgow and his partner Greg Stiltner are open to another option.

“We would have no problem with someone coming in and salvaging anything architecturally significant — trim, windows, doors — things like that,” Glasgow said. “Move it or salvage it, we’re giving it away, one way or another.”

Anyone interested in the house should get in touch with University Lake Partners before the end of May by calling Stiltner at 319-631-1803.

“The sooner, the better,” Glasgow said.

According to the assessor’s site, the house is 1,980 square feet, and has both hardwood and tile floors. The barn is 18 feet by 20 feet. The assessed value of the 901 Melrose Avenue house is $209,300.

The barn at 901 Melrose Ave., University Heights, April 30, 2018. — photo by Jordan Sellergren

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.