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Eastmoreland house, once set for demolition, gets Cinderella makeover

by: David F. Ashton Developers have turned a worn house at 6745 S.E. 36th Avenue into this stately home.

The worn older house at 6745 S.E. 36th Avenue [see October BEE] that caught the attention of Eastmoreland neighbors - when developers planned to rip it down and build two row houses in the space - has been almost miraculously transformed into a showplace... and, within a matter of weeks.

Mike Hubbell of Portland Development Group invited THE BEE back to see how the reconstruction of the house was coming along. In fact, it was already nearing completion at the end of October.

Going from room to room with us, Hubbell pointed out the consistent use of features - such as three-piece crown moldings, six-way routed frames for doorways. 'Everything is symmetrical, and wraps together,' he said. 'The detail repeats itself throughout the house.'

It's a matter of preference, Hubbell admitted, but personally, he prefers that details such as crown molding be uniform throughout a house. 'Sometimes a builder puts a newer style in the basement, and other styles in different rooms of the house. I want the house to look as if it had been here for 100 years - but, with all the modern amenities.'

Some of the rooms feature solid-core 'pocket' sliding doors. 'This [design] goes back an earlier period, but with modern hidden hardware, these will work well for decades.'

The developers were able to save and refinish some of the original hardwood flooring; but because the house now features larger open spaces, new matching flooring was installed. 'I love how the windows look old-style; but, they're brand-new high-efficiency vinyl windows that will last a long time, and will meet our energy-efficiency policy - to make sure that we have a 'green' home.'

Because as many as 20 craftsmen were on hand working in the home at any one time, the work got done well, and quite quickly. 'And, we've employed another 80 to 90 craftsmen, including all of our vendors, such as the millwrights who have produced our custom moldings and railings. You don't find this in the construction industry anymore.'

An unfinished attic was originally planned, but the third story has now been finished into an airy room for crafts, games, or hobbies. The basement has been turned into a vibrant living area as well.

Hubbell said in the earlier interview with THE BEE that he would welcome all the neighbors in to see the finished rebuilt home, now a 5,000 sq. ft. showcase. He did that on November 17th.

'The project took about 85 days, from demolition to hosting our open house,' Hubbell summarized. 'In those 85 days, we upgraded all of the wiring and plumbing, and went on to add a fully-finished second and third story to the house.'

From a business standpoint, getting the property on the market as soon as possible makes good sense. 'But also, one of the goals is to make sure that we were not a burden to the neighborhood with a lengthy project,' Hubbell added.

Neighbor Bill Morgan attended the open house. 'I think they've done an excellent job creating a large, usable house. And, in comparison to the rowhouses they originally proposed to build - it's much better.'

As neighbors, real estate agents, and others toured the house, developer Hubbell commented, 'I know many of the neighbors were doubtful of our motives. But they've been very supportive.'