Two houses relocated to West Platte

       The Westside has two new old houses.
       In the wee hours of March 24, city crews relocated the donated houses from their original sites -38 and 40 Boulder Crescent St. next to Monument Valley Park - to vacant lots at 2031 and 2025 W. Platte Ave., respectively.
       At their new locations, the houses - both seven-room duplexes - will be rehabilitated into single-family homes under the direction of the city's Division of Urban Redevelopment, then offered to limited-income, first-time homebuyers through a program managed by the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust. The work will take place over roughly the next four months, explained Land Trust Executive Director Bob Koenig and Senior Redevelopment Specialist Jack Spann of Urban Redevelopment in a joint interview this week.
       “What you see today and what you'll see in 120 days are two different things,” Koenig said.
       County Assessor's Office data shows that the house from 38 Boulder Crescent was built in 1901, the house at 40 Boulder Crescent in 1899.
       The city had bought the lots on West Platte Avenue two years ago with the intent of putting affordable housing there, Spann said. When the Boulder Crescent houses became available, they seemed like a good fit, based on city meetings a few years ago with the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), in which the city was asked that the housing fit the neighborhood.
       “These houses have the character of the Westside,” Koenig said. “That's what OWN was looking for.”
       The move occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. March 24, to avoid heavy traffic. According to city spokesperson Tim Burke, employees with City Police, Utilities, Traffic Engineering and Forestry, as well as cable television and telephone companies, were on hand to perform such tasks as raising power lines and traffic lights, protecting or trimming trees and diverting traffic.
       The city has moved 29 houses since 1994.
       The two houses had been willed to the city by the late Helen Michelson, with the direction that the land beneath them be used to expand Monument Valley Park and that the houses be used for affordable housing, Spann said. A third Michelson-owned house on that street was relocated to the Hillside area east of downtown.
       The Land Trust is a local non-profit organization that has partnered with 117 limited income families in Colorado Springs since 1996 to create and preserve affordable housing.
       A recent Westside project involving relocated houses and the Land Trust was the Broadway Bluffs subdivision in the Midland area.

Westside Pioneer article