Make us your home page
Instagram

Historic home relocated around corner from Hyde Park United Methodist

Retired marine and real estate investor Aaron Masaitis spent $200,000 to move a 100-year-old multifamily home from 501 S Cedar Ave in Hyde Park to an empty lot at 604 W Azeele St.

ALLI KNOTHE | Times

Retired marine and real estate investor Aaron Masaitis spent $200,000 to move a 100-year-old multifamily home from 501 S Cedar Ave in Hyde Park to an empty lot at 604 W Azeele St.

TAMPA— Aaron Masaitis was driving around the Hyde Park neighborhood last fall when he noticed the 100-year-old pink house with boarded up windows and peeling paint.

It didn't seem to fit in the historic area, where land is becoming more and more expensive and rents in multifamily houses are among the highest around.

A retired Marine and real estate investor, Masaitis approached the Hyde Park United Methodist Church, the property owner, and offered to buy it.

They said yes, under one condition: He had to move the two-story, 2,900-square-foot building to an empty lot around the corner, which the church would sell to him.

So in the early hours of Saturday, March 11, a rusty machine resembling a tractor moved the 7,200-ton house slowly down the bumpy, brick street. Crews removed phone and power lines and squeezed the house into the empty lot at 604 W. Azeele St. The tractor hit a fence, and the roof barely fits under a large tree, but otherwise the move went off without incident.

"She looks so big sitting in there, doesn't she?" Masaitis asked Susan Smith, who lives across the street.

"It went in easier than the last one," she told him, recalling the arrival of the grey home around the corner on South Brevard Avenue.

About a decade ago, the trees on her block had to be removed to fit the grey, multifamily house down the street. This new old house is the third historic home she has seen reshuffled in the neighborhood.

It could well be the last unless something is demolished to make more room.

"It's important those structures are saved when they can be," said Lynn Osborne, comptroller of the church.

The church will use the old lot at 501 S. Cedar Ave as parking, with some green space for children to play, she said.

With parking and church buildings, Hyde Park United Methodist is a major landowner in the neighborhood — about a dozen properties encompassing about three full city blocks between West Platt Street and West De Leon Street, according to city records.

The church first bought the home on Cedar Ave in 2011 for $260,000 and never rented it out.

The West Azeele plot has been empty since the late 1990s, when the home there burned down, Smith said. The church had used it for parking since it purchased the lot in 1999 but the setup wasn't ideal, Osborne said.

In Hyde Park, strict zoning restrictions prevent new buildings as large as old ones. With eight one- and two-bedroom apartments, Masaitis expects to make $8,000 in monthly rent on the home, which he hopes will be valued at $1 million or more after the renovations are complete.

Standing in front of the home on Thursday afternoon, Masaitis imagined the end product: A newly laid foundation, fully reconstructed interior, even new color on the custom wood siding.

Contact Alli Knothe at aknothe@tampabay.com. Follow @KnotheA.

Historic home relocated around corner from Hyde Park United Methodist 03/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. United Airlines CEO to investors: We'll be more focused on customers

    Airlines

    CHICAGO — The CEO of United Airlines assured shareholders Wednesday that the company is doing all it can to be more customer-friendly since video surfaced of a passenger being violently ejected from a plane last month.

    Chicago Police arrest protesters after they sat down in a busy street blocking traffic outside a United Airlines shareholders meeting Wednesday, in downtown Chicago. The people who were arrested were protesting the low pay of employees of companies that provide meals and other services for United Airlines at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
[Associated Press]
  2. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

  3. Tampa Bay home prices still soaring amid tight supply

    Real Estate

    Sales of Tampa Bay homes dropped in April but prices surged yet again as Florida's real estate market continued to be defined by tight supply and high demand.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group]
  4. These days, don't hit the theme park without an app and a phone charger

    Florida

    Emile Crawford stocks two back-up phone battery chargers these days when she takes her kids to Disney World. But she dare not venture into a theme park without a smart phone app, an accessory becoming as necessary as sunscreen in Florida theme parks.

    A wristband visitors will wear at the new Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, Florida. The wristband, called Tapu Tapu, tells you when it's your turn to get on a ride. It also lets you pay for food so you don't have to carry a wallet and opens lockers so you don't have to  carry a key. (Universal via AP)
  5. James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and more appear at Disney's Pandora

    Florida

    ORLANDO — As he stood on a stage at Disney World Wednesday, director James Cameron revealed his teenage dreams.

    Zoe Saldana tweeted a photo of herself from Wednesday's appearance at a new land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Pandora -- the World of Avatar. The land is based on James Cameron film, in which she stars. Photo via Twitter.