Historic San Jose Apartment Building Set to Be Moved Sunday

A 111-year-old apartment building at 14 E. Reed St. in downtown San Jose will be moved almost a quarter mile away to 4th and Reed on Sunday. Maria Medina reports. (3-26-21)

Video Transcript

- Meanwhile in San Jose, an historic old apartment building that has stood through two pandemics will get a new address this weekend. KPIX5's Maria Medina, live in San Jose with the story on this century-old home. Maria?

MARIA MEDINA: Yeah, what's great about this story? It's not just about an old home on the move, but it's also about converting it into affordable housing.

- Such a cool, old structure.

MARIA MEDINA: For 111 years the Pallesen Apartments has had the address 14 East Reed Street in San Jose.

- We live a little closer to where they're moving it.

MARIA MEDINA: But come Sunday, it'll move to a new address less than a quarter mile away on 4th and Reed.

DANIEL GARCIA: It's great that they're keeping this. It's got nice, old bones.

SARAH GARCIA: And that the community came together to raise funds for it.

DANIEL GARCIA: Yeah.

SARAH GARCIA: It's pretty awesome.

BEN LEECH: And no one gave up, and the stars aligned.

MARIA MEDINA: Ben Leech, executive director for the Preservation Action Council of San Jose, says the four-unit apartment building was scheduled to be demolished in December. But the community rallied together to save it.

BEN LEECH: And you know, to see it go to the landfill, it was just-- nobody really thought they could stomach that.

MARIA MEDINA: Ben says the developer, who plans to build a mixed commercial and residential tower, donated the building to Habitat for Humanity. The city donated the land it'll soon rest on, charging Habitat for Humanity just $1. And community members donated more than $250,000 for its move.

BEN LEECH: We're really excited to see this roll down the street on Sunday.

MARIA MEDINA: Is it going to be that easy, though? Is it really going to roll along the street?

BEN LEECH: I actually have never seen a structure move quite like this.

RACHELLE FIGUEROA: I feel like that's so weird, like, you never see that every day. So I'll definitely be coming down.

MARIA MEDINA: And residents, especially those who live on Reed Street, will get a front-row seat on Sunday.

- They'll probably shut down this whole street and take it right down the middle, back it in. Yeah. It'll be fun.

MARIA MEDINA: So if you'd like to see the home on the move, it happens, again, on Sunday between 8:00 and noon on 1st and Reed. And once this home is rehabbed, it'll be sold to low-income families at less than market value. Ken?

- Yeah, what a great idea. The cost of refurbishing it, even moving it, has got to be cheaper than building a big, new building. So good for the city.

MARIA MEDINA: Exactly.

- Maria, thank you for that.