SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Work crews delicately hoisted an 111-year-old apartment building onto a massive wheeled trailer Sunday under the watchful eyes of a large crowd of spectators as the historic structure prepared for its quarter-mile move to a new address.
The four-unit Pallesen apartment building, which currently sits at 14 E. Reed St., was being moved to 4th and Reed Streets. The move will make way for a mixed-use commercial and 336-residential-unit high-rise.
The one big move I would have loved to see was the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour through LA. This house move today here in San Jose is pretty cool as well. @SJPD_PIO @SJSpotlight pic.twitter.com/UC3Eh5zspt
— Romeo Durscher (@romeoch) March 28, 2021
Off the original lot! Time to make tons of tiny adjustments so this house can scoot down to its new home at 4th & Reed. pic.twitter.com/ioYrGdHpD5
— San José Housing Dept. 🏙️🏘️ (@sjcityhousing) March 28, 2021
“It’s just such a cool, old structure,” said Daniel Garcia who lives near the building. “It’s great that they’re keeping this. It’s got nice, old bones and that the community came together to raise funds for it is pretty awesome.”
The move might not have happened had it not been for a community-wide effort to preserve it. Ben Leech, the executive director for Preservation Action Council of San Jose, said the original plan to move the building fell apart when the pandemic hit.
“No one gave up and the stars aligned,” said Leech. “To see it go to the landfill, nobody really thought they could stomach that.”
Leech said the former owner and current developer, KT Urban and Scape San Jose LLC donated the building to Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, which will later rehabilitate the apartments and sell them for less than half the market value to low-income families.
City leaders essentially donated the land that the building will soon rest on; Habitat for Humanity was charged $1.
Lastly, community members donated around $265,000 to fund the building’s move.
“We’re really excited to see this roll down the street Sunday,” Leech said. “I have actually never seen a structure move quite like this.”
The Garcia family has been watching the process unfold over the past year.
“They’ll probably shut down this whole street, take it down the middle, back it in,” Garcia said. “It’ll be fun.”