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Lincoln Savings Bank helps three century old houses find a new home

If you live in the Des Moines area, you may have seen three massive 100-year-old houses traveling through the streets near the Drake neighborhood last month.

The three homes were being moved from Drake University’s intersection of University Avenue and 28th Street to the Sherman Hill neighborhood. Rather than demolish the houses to make way for the new construction of the expanded Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement, Drake sold the structures to Laneways Development LLC, a private developer.

It should come as no surprise that a move like this is not easy. It took lots of coordinating, both logistically and financially. The houses were pulled slowly and gently by semi-trucks, following a previously cleared route. Multiple pilot cars escorted the procession, with flashing lights to warn oncoming traffic. Once arriving at their new location, the houses were transplanted to prepared foundations near the corner of Crocker and 19th streets.

Although a complex project, Lincoln Savings Bank (LSB) was excited to coordinate the financing. Because this wasn’t a typical loan, our team had to creatively come up with a solution. To accomplish the financing, we set up two separate loan phases. Phase 1 financed the acquisition of the homes, the new lots, and their new foundations. Phase 2 will finance the complete interior and exterior restoration.

The homes, which have been converted to multi-apartment structures, will be converted back and sold as single-family residences. As with several other houses moved to Sherman Hill, the houses will have the character of a historic home, but without the issues often present with older homes. Each house will be restored to reveal their true and original architectural details while accommodating what buyers want in a new modern home. Each house will have a new foundation, electrical grid, mechanicals, and an open floorplan.

“I am very passionate about saving our architectural history, so I enjoyed working on this project,” said Mike Urquhart, lead Commercial Lender on the project. “I get sick to my stomach when I see old historic structures get bulldozed and lost forever. The re-use, re-sale of these homes shows that there is a definite market for older homes to be lived in again!”

As a community bank that prides itself on supporting the surrounding neighborhoods, we’re lucky to work on historic renovation projects that can revitalize and enhance the area.

Lincoln Savings Bank

Member FDIC



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