Larry Vannett thought the nine houses acquired by the city on 15th Street Southeast for future flood protection were too nice for the wrecking ball. So when the City of Minot offered the houses for sale and relocation before arranging demolition, Vannett made an offer.
"We were interested and decided to throw in some bids, assuming there would be so many people bidding," he said. As it turned out last April, his offers totaling $26,154 were the only bids on the houses.
Huwe the House Mover has been busy this week moving the houses from the 400 block of 15th Street for Vannett, who found new owners and locations with minimal advertising.
Employees with Huwe the House Mover guide a truck driver hauling a house along a narrow corridor on 15th Street Southeast Wednesday. The house is one of nine being moved from the street to new locations outside of Minot’s flood protection zone.
Two houses are jacked up and ready to move Tuesday from 15th Street Southeast.
"I was kind of surprised by how many calls there were. In fact, I am still getting calls," he said.
The oldest of the two-story houses was built seven to eight years ago. Vannett said the houses had main-floor flood damage in 2011 but all are well suited for restoration.
One house was moved just around the corner and will eventually be located to a lot farther south on 15th Street once a foundation is completed, Vannett said. Two other houses also are going to temporary locations before finding permanent spots southeast of Minot in Dakota Ridge. Another will go to Green Valley in southeast Minot.
The remaining six eventually will be relocated to Surrey.
Vannett said he originally had planned to keep the houses together in a development in Burlington.
"When the investor backed out, we scrambled to find other homes for them," he said. "They are still being saved. That's one of the things we wanted to accomplish."
Vannett said it's satisfying to feel that he's made a contribution through the salvage of properties that will make good homes for new families. He added it was a good experience in working with the city and its consultant, CDM Smith, regarding the houses.
"The city has been really understanding in giving us extensions to get them moved, and we really do appreciate that they have been working with us to help save them," he said.
The city had put 15 houses that staff felt were suitable to be moved up for bid. In addition to the houses on 15th Street Southeast, houses included some on Burdick Expressway, Sixth Avenue Southwest and Fifth Street Northeast.
The city had estimated the cost of relocating each house at $25,000 to $35,000.