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732 Gaines Street Davenport IA 52802



Gold Coast group takes on 'impossible task'

By Alma Gaul | Sunday, July 24, 2005 |
Susan Dobbins hopes to restore this former duplex to single-family use. "It'll be a beautiful house when I'm done," she says.
There are "before" pictures, and then "worse than before" pictures, DaNell Jukulen, owner of this house at 1310 E. 11th

 St., laughs. This is a �worse than before" photo because it shows the home after stucco has been removed, but before any reconstruction has taken place, she explains.

Maria Fuentes of Moline hopes to restore this home at 824 W. 7th St.

Jack Haberman looks around his Davenport Gold Coast neighborhood and sees a lot of need, particularly along heavily traveled Gaines Street.

To try to make things better, he and several neighbors have formed a nonprofit group called Gateway Redevelopment to help save abandoned homes and properties, beginning with the seriously dilapidated former Jipp grocery store at 8th and Gaines streets. Now that the Jipp is on its way to a new life as an architectural salvage store-neighborhood museum, group members have turned their sights on a home at 822 Gaines, a building long on the city's demolition list.

A casual observer might write off the home as a lost cause.

It has been abandoned for at least 15 years, there are gaping holes in the roof and, as Haberman is the first to tell you, "water's been pouring in for years. It's really pretty far gone."

On the plus side, the foundation is solid and most of the framing and siding is still intact, he says.

Haberman and others believe it can be saved, and have applied for funds through the city's HAPPEN program.

"There are three other homes within two blocks that are on the demolition list, too," Haberman says. "You can't do them all." Members picked this home because, having been built in 1870, it is the oldest of the four, with the most historical significance. And because of its prominence on Gaines street, its restoration would have the most impact on the neighborhood.

"We like to take impossible tasks and make them happen," Haberman says. "We start at a spot and work on it."

He is hoping to keep rehab costs at about $100,000 and to sell the house for about $70,000. Rehab funds will come from Gateway members and in-kind contributions that will be paid back when the home is sold, Haberman says.

"This will give us a working model that can be replicated to save other abandoned houses," he says.

Other applicants

In addition to Alexander Voung (featured on the cover of today's section) and the Gateway group, there are four other applicants for HAPPEN funds.

1019 Scott St.: The applicant is Susan Dobbins, who bought the property at a Scott County tax sale in March. The house had been duplexed, but Dobbins expects to return it to single-family use and sell it at a small profit. She expects to spend about $80,000, which includes building a two-car garage.

The home has several pleasing architectural features, such as pocket doors, a semi-open staircase and stained glass windows. "It'll be a beautiful house when I'm done," Dobbins says.

She and her business, RPS (Renovated Properties by Susan), have purchased and rehabbed four other properties in Davenport. In addition, Dobbins is a real estate agent and runs a boarding home and a group home for the elderly.

1310 E. 11th St.: The applicants are Marshall Collins and DaNell Jukulen, who currently live in another home on the same block, a restoration in progress.

They bought this home because they had seen it starting to go downhill and wanted to stabilize their neighborhood. They also think it will be easier to work on a house when they are not living in it. So, they will work on the new house, get it finished, then move into it and finish the one they're living in now. When both are finished, one will be sold.

Architectural features of the 1890 house include an open oak staircase, an oak fireplace mantel and pine millwork.

Collins works for one of the tenant agencies on Arsenal Island, and Jukulen teaches accounting at Black Hawk College. They have three children in their 20s.

1219 W. 8th St.: The applicant is Northern Asset Management, based in Omaha, Neb. The company bought the home at a tax sale and intends to fix it up for resale, Susanne Knutsen, housing renewal coordinator for the city of Davenport, says.

824 W. 7th St.: The applicant is Maria Carmen Fuentes, Moline, who expects to fix up the home and live there, Knutsen says.

Fuentes bought the home in the early '90s but had been unable to do rehab work because the home first needs its sewer lateral repaired, a job that is expected to cost $10,000 job, Knutsen says.

"She was kind of waiting for a program like this to come along because it (the rehab) was not feasible to do without," Knutsen says.

Alma Gaul can be contacted at

(563) 383-2324 or at agaul@qctimes.com


Gateway Redevelopment Group, Davenport, Iowa