Bakotich house saved in new co-housing plan | News | Mountain View Online |


Bakotich house saved in new co-housing plan

Senior condo project revised to incorporate historic house

It was nearly set for demolition or removal, but now the 1880s Bakotich house on Calderon Avenue may be preserved along with a new senior housing project on the property.

The tree-shrouded Bakotich house, known as the city's second oldest home, would be restored to its original, smaller size and moved to the front of the 1.3 acre property at 445 Calderon Ave. under the latest proposal from the Mountain View Co-housing Community. Moving the home that the Bakotich family lived in for the better part of a century would make way for a new shared senior housing: a three story condo building with 19 units for the seniors, shared recreation spaces and an underground parking garage.

An effort to have the Victorian farmhouse house moved, possibly to a vacant lot in the Shoreline West neighborhood earlier this year did not pan out, as the property owner found it would have been too costly, said Susan Burwen. She has been leading the group of seniors with her husband David after purchasing the property last year with the help of investors.

The restored house would be used as a guesthouse for the seniors, reducing the size of the condo building.

"I think it will be a nice addition," Burwen said. "It gives a sense of entrance."

The proposal is good news to city officials, who were trying to find ways to encourage the house to be part of the project, said zoning administrator Peter Gilli earlier this year.

"It makes it an attractive project," said council member Jac Siegel, who wanted the city to buy and preserve the house after Anne Bakotich passed away in 2007. "It makes it something people are proud to have in their city."

The cost of restoring and moving the house is unknown, Burwen said, but preserving it will save a significant amount of money on an environmental impact report that would have been necessary before demolishing the historic house.

In the previous proposal, costs ranged from $750,000 for a 1,370-square-foot unit to $1.25 million for a 2,050-square-foot unit. An underground parking garage and an elevator have already pushed up prices.

"That's the critical issue," Gilli said earlier this year. "If it becomes so expensive that they can't attract buyers the whole project stops."

To reduce the size of the 1,700 square foot house, some more recent additions made to the rear would be removed. Burwen said that "80 percent of the original house" would be preserved. It would also be several feet lower in height as it will be placed on a lower foundation.

There are 10 senior households seriously committed to buying into the project, Burwen said, and many more who are interested. She says the experience has been "gratifying" so far.

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3 people like this
Posted by Janna
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I think the author is confused between Co-housing and Senior Housing. Based on the Co-housing group's website, this seems to be a Co-housing community that happens to only have seniors committed to living there so far, and not a "senior condo project" at all.

3 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Fantastic news. Kudos to the Mountain View Co-Housing community for working to preserve this unique home(...and thanks to the Bakotich family for keeping it standing for a good part of its 130 years!). There are only a handful of structures in the area from the 19th century, so it's very exciting to learn this piece Mountain View architectural heritage will be restored and moved to a spot on Calderon Avenue where we all can enjoy the glimpse of history it provides and appreciate the new owner's investment in its future. I hope the project moves smoothly through the approval process!

3 people like this
Posted by Pat
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 11, 2010 at 8:05 am

Chiming in as living proof that this is not an "all senior" community; my husband and I plan to move into this wonderful project and we are 53 and 56. Living in community is a great way to live at any age.

3 people like this
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm

This is a wonderful project that has been extremely well thought out. It will be a perfect fit in it's surroundings and great addition to old Mountain View. I encourage all the residents in the area to support the Burwen's and all the other investors in the co-housing community.

3 people like this
Posted by Anyana
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

Wow let the dense living in Mtn. View begin! A stone's throw away from this is a monstrous housing development on the corner of Calderon and Villa. Then a monstrous new housing development at the old Minton's site. I've walked by this wonderful old house and orchard like property and now it's going to be milked for every square foot for more development?

3 people like this
Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 13, 2010 at 10:16 am

Kudos to the developers for taking the time and energy to re-purpose the historic Bakotich house for the new development. Not only does it retain the sense and style of Mountain View past, its refreshing to hear a developer use words like "a sense of entrance". When developers build with design and architecture in mind, to make spaces living spaces, and not just boxes, everyone benefits.

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