30 December 2006
Saturday spottings (respotted)
Beverly Bryant gets the cover story in the Oklahoman's Real Estate Magazine on Saturday, and today she hit an area I've talked about before: south of NW 10th near Blackwelder, legally the Neas Addition to Oklahoma City, which I described as "a relatively nice, if obviously not at all upscale, neighborhood." "Nice," of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I saw this area as slowly improving. The new streetscaping along 10th, a gesture made by the city to discourage St Anthony Hospital from fleeing to the suburbs, helps somewhat, but it does nothing for the side streets, which are WWI-era narrow and often clogged.
Today's story reports that Neighborhood Housing Services, an Oklahoma City nonprofit, is focusing on 7th Street; they've built three homes in the 1300 block, between Ellison and Douglas, to sell for $85,000. This is a bit high for the area there are lots of $55k, even $45k houses nearby but it's only about half the usual price for new homes in central Oklahoma, and a check of some properties within a block or two suggests that prices in this area are rising a little faster than average.
The floorplan is a fairly simple one, with three bedrooms and two baths and a one-car garage: living space is about 1160 square feet. And we can expect more of these, says NHS's David Ash:
For 2007, NW 7 is our main target. We will be going down the street to find dilapidated houses and empty lots where we can build new houses. We want to revitalize NW 7.
I drove down 7th from Ellison to Virginia, and I counted about half a dozen potential locations which, of course, depends on one's definition of "dilapidated." ("Empty," I figure, isn't open to debate.)
I have to applaud this sort of thing on general principle, since I have long been persuaded that the best way to maintain a neighborhood is to maximize the number of homeowners therein, and not everybody can afford the mythical "average" home: the local median home price in the third quarter was just under $120,000. (This is, I must point out, pricier than any house on my block, assuming the real-estate firm that bought the house across the street from me doesn't perform some massive upgrades before reselling. Of course, if they're just going to use it as a rental but let's not go there.) Perhaps it will never be beautiful in the old Neas Addition, but it's worth the effort to keep it livable.Posted at 6:47 PM to City Scene