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New owners look forward to 'outStandish' renovations at historic Jefferson City home

New owners look forward to 'outStandish' renovations at historic Jefferson City home

April 21st, 2019 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

Levi and Amanda Burke Williams pose outside of the Standish House at 103 Jackson St. The couple purchased it and plan to start as soon as possible working on what will someday be their home.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

When they are done rehabilitating 103 Jackson St. this year, owners Amanda and Levi Burke Williams said the historic home will be "outStandish."

The couple and Jefferson City Housing Authority finalized the sale of 103 Jackson St. — known as the Standish House — last week.

The Housing Authority took possession of 103 Jackson St. in early 2018 after former owners Stephen and Cheryl Bratten voluntarily relinquished it. The property was one of three homes listed in a 2017 civil lawsuit filed by the Housing Authority.

Amanda and Levi plan to live in the Queen Anne-style home, which is best known for the keyhole opening on the front porch. Their renovations will involve transforming the property into a single-family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The couple said they are eager to begin renovating the property, their first fixer-upper.

"We've been looking for a long time for a fixer-upper," said Amanda, who has a master's degree in historic preservation. "We put several bids on several houses, and nothing happened, nothing happened, and finally put a bid, and it's been accepted, so we're excited."

The house at 103 Jackson St. was home to Sarah "Mildred" and Austin Standish, the daughter and son-in-law of Gustavus and Patience Parsons. The Parsons owned the property next door at 105 Jackson St., considered one of the oldest houses in Jefferson City.

The Williamses said they were surprised by how intact the property was.

"The walls, for the most part, are there. People went in and ripped out the wiring and plumbing and everything and there are a few holes they made to do that, but other than that, the walls look great," said Levi, who is a graphic designer. "It really just needs a good coat of paint, but it is really nicely preserved."

The couple plans to install a new roof, plumbing and electrical at 103 Jackson St. They also want to restore several parts of the property to their original state, such as removing the paint on the staircase and repairing or restoring the brick to its original finish.

The home still has several of its original characteristics, like hardwood floors and pocket doors, they added.

They estimate they will spend $150,000 in renovation costs. They plan to pursue state historic tax credits and the city's down payment incentive, through the Neighborhood Reinvestment Act.

The city operates a dollar-for-dollar match down payment program for certain residences, with the maximum down payment incentive up to $5,000. The city is no longer accepting applications for the downtown payment incentive this year, according to its website.

The couple purchased the home for $32,000, Amanda said. In early 2018, court-appointed commissioners appraised the property at $55,000.

They will document their rehabilitation adventure on their blog, outstandishpreservation.weebly.com.

In a Friday news release, Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said she is excited "to have a family willing to renovate the building and make it their home."

"This is the first step in eliminating the blight on Jackson Street and upgrading the neighborhood," she added.

The neighborhood is "up and coming" due to the potential rehabilitation of several properties in the area, the couple said.

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Along with 103 Jackson St., the properties at 101 and 105 Jackson St. — previously owned by Barbara Buescher — were also listed in the 2017 civil suit. The Housing Authority took possession of those homes earlier this year.

The Housing Authority — acting as the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority — is once again accepting proposals for 105 Jackson St., known as the Parsons House, after it failed to receive an initial proposal.

The Housing Authority received redevelopment proposals for 101 Jackson St. and will review those.

In an August 2018 civil suit, Cole County Presiding Judge Patricia Joyce ruled the Housing Authority can take possession of seven Buescher properties if the Housing Authority pays the appraised value of the properties — 500, 501, 507, 511 and 513 E. Capitol Ave., along with 504 E. State St. and 115 Jackson St.

In November, the Housing Authority sold 608 E. State St. to Dustin and Mandi Long, with Long Last Remodeling, so they could redevelop the home.

The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority is also accepting redevelopment proposals for a vacant lot at 514 E. State St. Those proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. May 15 and can be dropped off at 1040 Myrtle Ave.

"It's a little bit of a risk in that we're assuming that people will get interested, but we are trying to get (renovations) completed this year. So I think when people see the changes starting to happen, they'll get more interested," Amanda said. "So it's kind of hard to start because it's hard for people to see that vision. But I think once they start to see that neighborhood starting to come back, they'll get really excited, and it's only going to increase."