Work in the Hills

By Dave Fratello | July 27th, 2011
We happened by a scraping today, once a familiar sight around MB, increasingly more so again.

This prompted us to catch up on a few goings-on around the Hill Section, where recent buyers have been pursuing various kinds of remodels and building projects.

922 11th - Now
922 11th is the scraper we saw, positioned on a Hill Section lot right across from a church parking lot.

Say what you will about the location, but it's a big 7500 sq. ft. lot with interesting treetop views to the south.

The little 3br/2ba 1950s cottage is now history. Someone's got bigger plans.

922 11th - Then
The lot was acquired for $1.075m in March this year.

The folks who bought it will now build out a custom home for themselves – no speckie here.

822 John – Before
We've also been meaning to bring you up to date on 822 John, a custom remodel/rebuild that looks to have been recently wrapped up.

It was more than a full year ago when we last published a peek at the work at the home. (See "Checking In on 822 John.")

At the time, the old faux-brick façade had been removed, as had most of the interior walls. The new owners, who had paid $1.788m in Dec. 2009, were well under way to transforming their acquisition.

822 John - After
Now, they've finished their new, grand Cape Cod. Take note: they've put lots of windows up on the 2nd floor where there's at least a chance of an ocean peek down 9th St. (The home's not generally in a view area of John.)   

In its original incarnation, the home had 5br/4ba, 3725 sq. ft. – a substantial build on a lot you'd call small even in the Tree Section (4040 sq. ft.). Looks like roughly the same interior square footage now.

But it also looks like a million bucks now – which we mean figuratively, of course. The build may have been slightly less costly overall.

600 John Getting a Facelift
Maybe the biggest curiosity around the Hills right now is 600 John, a 10,000 sq. ft. corner lot with big, big ocean views. (For a snapshot of the view, see "Quick and Dirt-y in the Hills.")

Someone grabbed 600 John for the princely sum of $4.3m early this year, and you pretty much knew exactly what would happen next. The vacant property would one day be surrounded by a green construction fence, a bulldozer would arrive several days later, and soon the old 50s rancher would be headed off to the dump in splinters.

But no.

Several weeks ago, signs of termite repairs became evident – the occasional new board of wood replacing a segment of the original house's roofline, and so on. Then crews came in to replace the windows. New windows on a scraper?

Inside, walls are being moved around as the home's guts are being refashioned, even as the exterior looks pretty much as it did.

We took to wondering: Is this an interim remodel just while the big new plans are drawn up? Or is someone actually going to try to make a go of the old rancher that everyone had waved off as a goner?

We're told now that the new owners are going to refashion 600 John to live in it, and that will be that for the foreseeable future. The house has decent bones and a nice layout around a big yard. So it will survive. And there's a nice change for MB, without the bulldozer.

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