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Wednesday, July 13, 2016
An ancient and worn-down five-unit apartment house at the intersection of Blount and Peace on the edge of downtown has recently been approved for a much-needed makeover.
Officially purchased July 1 for $525,000 by “604 North Blount LLC,” the process required to make the so-called “minor work” repairs began some time before that.
On June 23, 2016, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission received an application from the principal of 604 N. Blount LLC for a Certificate of Appropriateness that would allow for a dozen upgrades and repairs to the exterior of the property, including a repainting, a re-roofing and a repaved walkway.
As it’s located in a Historic Overlay District, any repairs falling within certain parameters require a COA.
First built in 1925 on land acquired from Mattie Heck, for whom the Heck-Andrews house we wrote about recently was built, the home at 604 North Blount has certainly seen better days since the Herring family constructed the two-story, wood-framed structure more than 90 years ago.
The Herrings, whom, according to the Wake County Book of Deeds, originally bought the land for “$1,000 and other special considerations” from Heck, eventually sold it 1969; a sale price was not included in the deed. We’re not exactly sure when it was converted to a 5-unit apartment complex, but County records indicate the last “major” renovation to the house was in 1965.
Since the Herrings sold it in 1969, the house has changed hands six times, including the recent sale to 604 N. Blount LLC.
Before that sale to the LLC, the property was listed with the following description:
Five unit apartment building on the edge of downtown. Four 1 BR’s and one efficiency. A, D and E are vacant. B leased for $650/mo thru 12/31/16. C leased for $475/mo on month to month basis.
The $525,000 purchase price, while higher than the assessed tax value of $464,128, will likely turn out to be a solid investment: the much nicer home two doors down, the address of which is technically 612 N. Blount, is currently valued at a total of $737,717. Although, it should be noted that the majority of that value stems from 612’s much larger imprint: it takes up a total of .37 acres, vs. 604’s .18.
Either way, 604 has a great location and the house seems like it has a lot of potential. We imagine once those final two leases expire, its new owner may choose to do something entirely different with the property.
Since the year 2000, it appears that no renovation permits have been issued for any work on the house, although this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that’s seen what the place looks like.
Among the myriad problems with the property described in the application are: severely damaged boards/wood siding, rotten wood deck floors and railings, a cracked foundation, derelict landscaping, a rusted fence, an uneven, hazardous walkway and a severely damaged tree that’s described as “a 25 foot high dead stump with no canopy.”
Oh, and there’s another tree with a branch that keeps regrowing and damaging the roof. But other than those few minor issues, we’re sure the place is in great shape. Certificates of Appropriateness are only required for external work, so unfortunately we weren’t treated to what we imagine was a laundry list of problems the LLC found with the property’s interior.
Speaking of that LLC, from what we can tell it seems like the founder is the kind of guy who saw “The Money Pit” and thought: that seems like fun.
More seriously, it’s good to see that another one of Raleigh’s historic homes will be preserved and restored instead of torn down and replaced. While it certainly needs more than a fresh coat of (Oriental White, per the application) paint, we’re definitely excited to see what the place looks like once the LLC wraps up its long list of planned improvements.
In the meantime, please enjoy this collection of photos of the house in its present state, care of the COA application.