Kingfield houses still lack a home

The fate of the two houses south of Nicollet Ace Hardware, 3805 Nicollet Ave., is still up in the air.

Lyndale Neighborhood Development Corporation (LNDC) recently abandoned plans to help relocate the two houses to the Lyndale neighborhood after soil borings on the elected property revealed heavy contamination.

The City Council unanimously voted March 1 to approve Nicollet Ace owners Julene Lind and Steve Rosch’s request to build a parking lot next to their business, two days they stepped forward and offered $20,000 to help relocate the two houses that sit on the site.

But, the relocation effort hit a snag when soil tests revealed dirty fill on the county-owned site.

Out went LNDC and in stepped various city and county representatives who said they did not want to see the two houses demolished.

"It kind of captured our imagination," said NRP head Bob Miller. "We’re always looking for innovative ways to capitalize on these properties."

Given the timeline — Lind and Rosch want to break ground on the parking lot May — and the condition of the houses, Miller said it was feasible only to move the smaller of the two houses.

Miller and county officials identified 3700 Stevens Ave. S. in the Kingfield neighborhood as a potential site and contracted with Project for Pride in Living to help with the relocation.

The Kingfield NRP board, which had originally authorized up to $50,000 of public funds towards moving both the houses, voted recently to allocate up to $25,000 towards the relocation of the small house.

However, potential stumbling blocks remain. Chief among them, Hennepin County, which also owns the 3700 Stevens Ave. S. site may not be able to transfer ownership of the property until the first week in May — a few days after Lind and Rosch’s deadline.

Some board members are wondering if Lind and Rosch will extend the deadline by a few more days, if necessary.

There is also the question of whether or not the owners will still contribute any money towards moving the small house.

Lind and Rosch’s lobbyist Peter Roos said previously that his clients estimated that the demolition of the two houses would cost $13,000 and that they decided to throw in an extra $7,000 to bring their total contribution to $20,000.

Now that Lind and Rosch will have to pay to demolish at least the larger house, the uncertainty is whether or not they will still contribute that extra $7,000.

Lind and Rosch declined to comment for this article.

Roos said he did not know whether his clients would extend the deadline or contribute any money towards the relocation of the smaller house.