Having now seen two pandemics, the four-unit Pallesen apartment building at 14 East Reed Street in San Jose is expected to be relocated to its new address tomorrow — less than a quarter-mile from its current one.
In a similar move to when a 139-year-old Victorian house in San Francisco was hoisted onto a trailer last month, a historic South Bay multi-unit abode will be wheeled a short distance — three city blocks — tomorrow.
According to the KPIX, the move, which is scheduled to take place Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon, will make way for a mixed-use commercial and 336-residential-unit high-rise. And if it hadn't been for the community rallying behind the structure, it very well might've been demolished.
Ben Leech, who's the executive director for Preservation Action Council of San Jose, said the original plan to move the building fell apart last year.
“No one gave up and the stars aligned,” said Leech. “To see it go to the landfill, nobody really thought they could stomach that.”
Leech mentioned that KT Urban and Scape San Jose LLC, the previous owners of the property, had donated the building to Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. In the 111-year-old building's new chapter, it's expected to be rehabilitated into more updated domiciles; the plan is to sell them for less than half the market value to low-income families in the area.
To offset any additional cost to restore the property, San Jose City members permitted the building to sit on its new address — for just a single dollar. It's estimated, though, that it will cost around $1.6M to restore, renovate, and finally convert them into low-income housing units; those who qualify could buy a unit for roughly $232K, under current San Jose City requirements.
“We’re really excited to see this roll down the street Sunday,” Leech said. The community also rallied together for the building's move itself; over $265K was raised to offset its moving and renovation expenses. “I have actually never seen a structure move quite like this.”
(It looks like Leech wasn't near Hayes Valley on February 20.)
Per NBC Bay Area, the building has long been considered a special part of the neighborhood and features design elements from the "Prairie-style, Craftsman and Mission schools of architecture." Over the decades it's existed, the units have historically been rented to working-class people; the building's tenants have included everyone from farmworkers to clerks and salesmen to wait staff.
Image: Screenshot via Google Maps