The Victorian home offered up for free to anyone who could move it made headlines across the country last month is staying in Jordan — but not without some sprucing up.
Owner Barb Kochlin told the Jordan City Council Monday night she has entered a purchase agreement with Joshua Colonna, a developer with Red Brick LLC and Colonna Acquisitions, to sell the house and five acres of land surrounding it.
“Our family specializes in turn-of-the-century red brick buildings mostly and old houses like this,” Colonna said. “We’ve restored over 100 properties through Minnesota, West Virginia, Tenessee and Florida. This is our forte.”
Kochlin inherited the house when she bought the land from her grandmother, former Jordan Mayor Gail Anderson, who originally moved the house from the corner of Broadway and Second Streets to its “temporary” location in 2002. Kochlin said she isn’t sure what her late grandmother’s plans were for the house, but knows she invested around $40,000 for improvements to the interior.
Kochlin had planned to turn the house into a multi-family residence, but after extensive work with city planners, she realized the idea was cost-prohibitive, as it involved creating off-street parking and direct access to Highway 21. Kochlin later put the house on the market and even posted it as free for the taking, but the cost of moving the house was too much to justify.
Finally, in April, the council gave Kochlin three months to sell or move the house or be forced to demolish it.
After Kochlin’s story went viral, Colonna reached out to her with an offer to purchase the property and renovate the house. Colonna and Kochlin came to that agreement after researching moving options and finding no vacant lots within a viable relocation range.
Kochlin and Colonna said they have drafted an agreement for an easement that would extend the driveway from Kochlin’s neighboring brewery to the house, connecting it to Highway 21. Colonna would also be required to construct a small parking lot to comply with building codes. An additional easement would connect the property to city sewer and water service, also through Kochlin’s neighboring property.
Councilman Bill Heimkes asked what Colonna ultimately intends to achieve with the renovations.
“I’d love to just turn it into a house, that’s the simplest thing for all of us,” Colonna said.
But Colonna said there are a variety of options he’s willing to pursue, such as renovating the first floor into business space with an apartment on the upper floor. His family’s company traditionally renovates, establishes a business and sells the property to a local buyer after a few months.
“We know how to create a good asset and then have it sold off so it is actually run properly,” Colonna said.
The council wasn’t required to take any formal action on the matter, but took the opportunity to welcome Colonna to the community.
Colonna is a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and informed the council that due to an upcoming deployment, he will not be able to begin renovation work immediately, but intends to replace the roof and clean the property prior to his deployment.