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Historic Raleigh Homes Soon To Be Sold To Public

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RALEIGH — The State Visitor's Center used to be one of the most elegant homes in downtown Raleigh. Soon for-sale signs will go up there--and in front of some other historic homes downtown as well.

While some of the homes may not look so great inside, they sure look good from thesidewalk.

Despite the $900,000 estimate to restore the 1870 Heck Andrews House, for instance, it promises to be a treasure on a street full of hot historic properties.

"What we really want to do is preserve these wonderful old homes and to get people living there and enjoying the beautyand what our capitol city can and should be I think," says Senator Tony Rand, D-CumberlandCounty.

The old homes are now offices. Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue does her work out of theHawkins-Harness House.

Even though the L.L. Polk property will remain state property, the restoration projectthere is typical.

"We had a nail we had to get out of Massachutts we had to order," says preservationspecialist Michael Zehia. He says it was very close to the original.

There is also a potential tax break as well.

"If [the new owners] costs of restoring the property is $50,000, they would be eligible for 20to 30% tax credit which would be fairly substantial," says Jeffrey Crow, of the Departmentof Archives and History.

The homes will cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1,000,000. The state does notexpect to have any problems selling them.

"[There won't be] a bit [of trouble selling]," says Crow. "These are going to bevery popular. There is going to be tremendous demand. I'm told that real estate and developers are already lining upand I've even heard that certain houses have been discussed, you know if this ever comes on the market, please letme know because I would like to purchase it."

Legislation that will make all this reality has passed the Senate and will be votedon by the House next week. State employees whose offices are in these grand old homeshave mixed feelings about movingout.

To them, work truly is a second home.


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