Man Moves Mansion to Other Side of Property

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Fritz Kruer’s home sits in a new spot on a new foundation.

After a battle with the city of East Grand Rapids, Kruer had the home moved 30 feet from its original spot and rotated about 45 degrees. Mounds of dirt and slabs of concrete sit on the land. The home now faces Lake Drive instead of Woodcliff.

“It’s not cheap, about a hundred thousand dollars to move the house, with putting in a new basement and all the other things,” Kruer explained.

They have to use a ladder to enter from the rear. Kruer said he tried to sell the 6,600 square foot home, but there wasn’t much interest from anyone in taking on such a big property. About a year ago, he came up with the idea to have it moved to make more space for two other lots he could sell to developers.

“Everybody in town is more interested in building new homes than big old houses so we thought to make it possible to develop the property and create a couple more lots, we’d move the house,” Kruer said.

He said the two new lots will sell for about $300,000 each.

“People are tearing down homes worth more than that in town to get lots about the same size,” Kruer said.

The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors reports monthly housing data. The housing inventory has continued to drop since 2008. As of July, there’s roughly three months of inventory available. In 2009 and 2010, there were about 10 months of inventory available. Kruer said one of his lots has already sold. He said the mammoth project has garnered a lot of attention from people strolling down Lake Drive.

“I think construction is always is interesting for people. They like to watch it. This is different so I think its more interesting. You don’t see it everyday. There’s been a lot of curiosity. I’d say we have a dozen people stop and watch it everyday, sometimes more. everybody’s got questions,” he said.

He added, “You might not see it too many more times. They’ve moved a few houses in the East. one was moved about a mile from here not long ago.”

Kruer said he plans to move after the brickwork and remodeling is done.

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