Riverside Deputy Development Director Emilio Ramirez stands near two historic Victorian houses that the city is selling.
A flurry of interest in two Victorian homes near downtown Riverside, originally offered for $1 each, culminated Friday with six proposals to renovate and reuse the houses, city Deputy Development Director Emilio Ramirez said.
The McIntyre House and Sweatt House both were built in the early 1890s. The buildings, which sit near Olivewood Avenue and Mulberry Street, are somewhat run down but boast period architecture outside and original woodwork, crown molding and pocket doors inside.
Three bids came in for the McIntyre House, which is slightly smaller than its neighbor but in better shape, and two bids were made for the Sweatt House, Ramirez said. One proposal included both houses and a vacant parcel next to them.
Ramirez said Friday afternoon that he had not seen the proposals and was unable to share the bid amounts or the bidders’ names.
Since 2012, the city has been trying to sell the Victorians for the bargain-basement price of $1, but officials had no luck until this year, when they agreed to sell the lots also instead of requiring buyers to move the homes. Throwing in the lots pushed each home’s cost into the low six figures.
The city’s former redevelopment agency bought the houses and an empty lot next to them, intending to move the homes elsewhere to be rehabbed, then build new offices in their place. But the state ended redevelopment before the plans could be carried out.
Now the historic homes will get new lives, once the city determines which bidders are best suited to restore the homes in keeping with their historic character, Ramirez said.
An August open house drew several dozen prospective bidders, but Ramirez said the number of proposals the city received isn’t bad considering how much work the renovation will require.
It’s much better than what the city received in the two-plus years before this most recent effort to sell the houses.
“I didn’t get any offers,” Ramirez said.
William S. Sweatt House
William J. McIntyre House
4/11/2016 Update ~ RIVERSIDE: $1 Victorian homes have buyer