Saturday, July 7, 2007

MINI - MODS and "undiscovered"neighborhoods

There are 2 "undiscovered" neighborhoods of VVV in a triangle bounded by Eastern Ave on the West, Sahara on the South, and Fremont Street cuts the Diagonal 3rd leg. We used to call it "Behind the Showboat", but of course the showboat is gone now, and awaiting new development.

"Eastwood" is the name of the first. Tax records show that ALL of them were built in 1953. To build 392 homes in one year would be Herculean even today, but back then, it was a huge accomplishment. Many of the houses are among the smallest homes I've ever seen in Las Vegas. The smallest models were built as 2 bedroom, 1 bath at either 698 or 708 sf. Many of them have been expanded over the years, but there's still a few originals. Simple square boxes, with beamed ceilings, flat roofs, absolutely NO ornamentation or architectural details. Most of the lots are from 6000 to 7000 sf.

There are a few that have been well taken care of, had some details added, had expansions that look good. But over all the neighborhood is run down, and pretty slummy. But the location is terrific. I'm beginning to see signs of life but I wouldn't object at all if they became tear downs, (mind you, this is the ONLY neighborhood in VVV where I'm willing to say that), however, instead of tearing down, I think there's a great opportunity here to make something of Eastwood. Well done additions, adding garages, adding some architectural details are all things that could be done. As the rest of VVV gets more and more expensive, Eastwood will turn around. An investor could do quite nicely if they're willing to stick it out.

Dawson Park, on the other hand, though adjacent to Eastwood, is FULL OF MINI MID-MODS, great details and is only just a little less "run down". There were 360 homes, which were built between 1955 and 1963. The 50's homes north of St. Louis were "modernist" or what we now call mid-mod. South of St. Louis was built in the 60's and were ranches with garages.

They ranged from 975 to 1400 sf when new, but there's been a lot of additions, conversions, and modification done to many of them over the years (all the way up to a 3200 sf one Howard that sold last year for just shy of 400k. Currently there's 14 for sale, with price ranging from 218k to 285k. There's 2 under contract, which were listed at 205k and 250k, and in the last 12 months, there have been 15 sales almost all in the low low 200's except for the big one I mentioned.

So the point is, there are still low end run down parts of VVV that have tremendous upside potential. There's lots of people I meet who's budget won't allow them to buy in the "already hot" or already turning parts of VVV, but there's some undiscovered areas that are well worth discovering.


Susan said...

Love the yellow one and the stone one at the bottom!

Anonymous said...

Jack, the reason they built them so fast is because they were so poorly built. They would prepare the foundation with rebar and wire and then after the inspector checked off, they pulled the rebar and wire out and put it in the next one, and so on. There is no insulation and the roofs are celotex only. Originally they were gas heat and swamp coolers and impossible to heat or cool. The closets are 3 feet wide. There is no storage. Original kitchens were metal with a dishwasher. Hot water heaters were in a 2 foot room on the outside. I knew the plumber who worked on them and I myself lived in one from 1964 to 1967 and owned it as a rental until 2000. My husband redid it with another bath, remodeled kitchen, 2 car garage, new mirrored doors on the closets, new floors etc. But it is impossible to make something good when you have no foundation. Ours had the biggest lot in Eastwood (about 9000 sq. ft.) The location is every convenient. I agree that
someone should try to buy them all and build something decent. MJ

Anonymous said...

In my comments above, I meant to say very (not every) convenient. The comments refer only to Eastwood, not Dawson Park. Dawson was built later and they are larger and I'm sure much better
built. MJ