by Elise Koncsek @


Pulling out onto 12th Ave, just around midnight
Pulling out onto 12th Ave, just around midnight

In the dead of night on August 3rd the Roosevelt neighborhood experienced a surreal parade of two complete townhomes inching through the streets to their new location a few blocks away. Friday marked the first building relocation event for a site being cleared to make way for the new Sound Transit light rail station near NE 66th Street and 12th Avenue NE. Two more townhomes will be moved from the same location next Friday night, starting around midnight.

Rather than pay to demolish these buildings, Sound Transit opted to sell the townhomes for a meager dollar and last night they were transported off the property by Nickel Bros moving company. To move the homes, giant jacks were used to lift and then set the almost intact structures on the backs of massive trucks. A large crew worked together to manage the navigation of the trucks around poles, trees, and fire hydrants as they traveled east on 66th and then south on 15th to their new resting place just south of Rising Sun market. Other workers, including representatives from Seattle City Light, hurried ahead of the caravan to yank out stop signs, rotate stop light beams ninety degrees on their poles, and drop utility lines so they wouldn’t be snapped by the approaching behemoths.

Planning for a house move can take up to a month and cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, materials costs, material waste, and time spent on site are minimal compared to construction of a new building. Transportation of a home generally takes place on one night, between midnight and 5am. Relocation is not as common as demolition, but is often the preferred option when a property holding a historic building needs clearing.

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