ANAHEIM – Crumbling homes sit on 4-foot-high wooden stilts in this quiet block between Water Street and Stueckle Avenue.
From behind a chain-link fence, the site is overgrown with weeds and overturned dirt, looking like a place where old houses go
But husband-and-wife developers Ray and Stephany Panlilio are trying to bring the 1.4-acre lot back to life, transforming it into
the newest block of the Anaheim Colony Historic District.
This is the third phase of a Redevelopment Agency project that began with seven historic homes being preserved on adjacent
Lemon Street in 2001 and 2002.
The City Council could approve a developer’s agreement for this phase in the next three to six months.
Actual foundations for the homes would then be built, with rehabbing of the structures completed within a year, the Panlilios said.
“It’s fun to make the houses nice again,” said Stephany Panlilio, of
Ladera Ranch-based ten21 Properties, which also developed the
Lemon Street phase.
When completed, the tract will be divided into six properties of
single-family homes, four of which will have second units behind them
that can be used as rentals.
Each of the structures currently on the lot has been moved from other
nearby streets, including Lemon Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The first homes were moved about three years ago.
The largest one, a two-story Victorian with a split-level garage unit
behind it, was moved from Elm Street in January.
Ten years ago, the Anaheim Colony Historic District was formed and includes some 1,100 historic structures, mainly bungalow
and Spanish style homes.
Gail Eastman, an architectural historian who was on the committee to create the historic district, has been researching the
homes that have been moved to Water Street.
Some of the smaller homes on the lot, she said, may be early 20th century catalogue homes or railroad homes – preassembled
houses brought in on the railroad and used by railroad workers.
The Water Street lot is “one of the few places where there’s a plot of land big enough to move these houses that otherwise would
be lost,” said Eastman, chairwoman of the city’s Planning Commission.
The homes are to be sold at market value and would have the opportunity to fall under the Mills Act, a tax abatement program
that gives homeowners property tax relief as long as they preserve the historical elements of their homes.
For Anne Parra, who lives in one of the historic homes on Lemon Street, the view of the rundown houses is welcomed.
“I think it’s nice to see that they’re going to be saved instead of torn down,” Parra said.
The Rea House
The largest home on the 1.4-acre lot between
Water one of the oldest in Anaheim.
Size: About 2,900 square feet
Original family: John and Margaret Rea,
prominent city ranchers. Their two daughters,
Kate and Ella, were the origin for the name for
Original location: 224 E. Broadway
Second location: The home was moved to Elm
Street around 1928.
Third location: Moved to Stueckle Avenue in
January to be rehabbed.