Roeland Park is joining the teardown trend already well underway in neighboring Prairie Village and Fairway with nine new houses either under construction or planned on lots formerly occupied by other homes.
City officials say the new push to teardown older, smaller homes and replace them with larger more expensive ones is occurring in three areas: 49th and Fontana, 48th and Parish, and 56th and Nall.
“It’s the continuation of the metropolitan housing boom into Roeland Park,” said John Jacobson, the Roeland Park building official. “It’s not just infill, now we’re talking about demos and replacements. It tells me developers are interested the entire community.”
One developer is John Moffitt of MoJo Build. He is building a two-story, four-bedroom house with a three-car garage on a lot formerly occupied by a much smaller residence at 4928 Fontana. His overall plan calls for consolidating the 4.5 lots there into larger lots for three houses.
“I think there’s an opportunity there because nobody else is doing it,” he said. “The addition of new housing stock in any 50 year-old plus neighborhood is usually well received.
“We can hopefully bring something to market at a somewhat affordable price. I think we’ll able to deliver at the $400,000 or less price point.”
The teardown boom has been a phenomena in Fairway, Prairie Village and Mission Hills for several years, but this is the first time its been seen in Roeland Park at this scale in “many years,” according to Jennifer Jones-Lacy, assistant city administrator.
“Most of our existing single-family homes have one-car garages and two- or three bedrooms,” she said. “Larger scale new homes will bring new people into our community.”
Jacobson said he believes the pace will pick up next spring once the current round of teardown homes go on the market. The listing price of the new homes under development range from about $325,000 to $350,000.
“We’re on the front side of the teardown curve,” he said. “Come spring time, I believe there will be anywhere from 5- to 10 new homes for sale which will set the price point for the redevelopment curve. Then I think we’ll see a flurry of activity.
Jacobson also said he city has good design standards established to avoid some of the problems seen in other communities.
“It’s a shot in the arm to see this development, an opportunity to inject new housing ideas into an established community,” he said.