JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Five historic homes in Jeffersonville that had to be moved to make way for the Ohio River Bridges Project are now looking for new owners to help restore old neighborhoods.
It was just this past summer that the homes which overlooked the Ohio River had to be moved to make way for the downtown bridge.
The homes were built between the 1890's and the 1920's.
"With the equipment they have today with hydraulic jacks, they are very careful and they can usually move these buildings with minimal damage," says Greg Sekula of Indiana Landmarks.
The five houses are now for sale at five separate locations, one of them a well restored arts and crafts bungalow. The brick on its front porch has been restored and it sits on a new foundation.
"The house was too good to be demolished," says Sekula, "so we were grateful that we were able to work with INDOT(Indiana Department of Transportation) to achieve this."
INDOT spent more than $600,000 to move the houses. An online auction is underway to sell the homes. People who buy the homes need to live in them -- landlords are not welcome.
"These cannot be purchased for rent", explains INDOT spokesman Mike Bosc, "the owner has to live there for five years and if the owner sells before the five years, the next person will be required to stay there until the five years of the initial sale is completed."
The hope is that the historic homes in their new locations will be a catalyst to help restore older neighborhoods adjacent to downtown Jeffersonville.
Says Sekula, "We are really hoping that we are not only saving the houses, but we are also hoping to boost the neighborhoods in terms of owner occupancy for the further revitalization efforts in the community."
The money used for the sale will be used to offset the expense of moving the houses.
"These buildings really have the features that make urban living attractive," adds Sekula, "especially to young people who want to live downtown. We are a half block from the ramp to the Big Four Bridge."
Anyone interested in bidding on the houses should go to the Indiana Department of Administration surplus real estate website: www.in.gov/idoa/2702.htm.
The site includes pictures and detailed information on each of the five properties. The online bidding will end October 24 at 3PM.
Colliers International is performing the auction. No low bid has been officially set, but the state can refuse offers.
Preservation easements will be placed on each home. Those would be enforced by Indiana Landmarks.
A transferable five-year occupancy covenant is also required for any purchaser.
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