January 17, 2015

Preservation Opportunity! Free Lot in the North Main Historic District! (With a Catch!)

826 N. Main Street - For Sale - $65,000
Realtor® Greg Rapp is known for his prowess in selling and marketing historic homes in the Salisbury/Rowan County area.  Greg has several wonderful historic home listings right now in the North Main Historic District of Salisbury.  But this kind of unique opportunity doesn't come along every day!

Preservation Opportunity:

It's one heck of a real estate deal! 

A buyer can get a piece of property in a great location, not for a low price, but for no price. 

The Historic Salisbury Foundation owns the lot at 717 N. Main Street, and while the sign in the yard says “For Sale,” they will actually give it away, free.  

Free. . . if the buyer agrees to buy a house at 516 N. Main Street (currently Shulenburger Surveying) and move it two blocks to that lot.  The circa 1900 two-story building at 516 North Main will need to be moved soon or demolished, to make way for construction of the Salisbury-Rowan Central School Board Office. 

Architectural Rendering of the New Rowan-Salisbury School System Office at 516 N Main Street

Historic Salisbury Foundation will convey its vacant lot at 717 North Main Street to anyone who commits to relocating and rehabilitating the original 2-story home portion of the former circa 1900 home at 516 North Main Street, but it must be done very soon to avoid any delay to construction of the Rowan-Salisbury School System new central office building. The Foundation will donate the vacant lot if someone will pay the costs of moving 516 N. Main to the lot and rehabilitate it.  

The grass covered lot at 717 N. Main Street in the North Main Historic District, is just steps from downtown, it's level with a few nice trees, a sidewalk, city garbage and recycling, and of course, it's free for the asking . . .  if someone will pay the costs of moving the original two-story portion of the circa-1900 house at 516 N. Main St. to the lot and rehabilitate it.

The house at 516 N Main, and the structure next door that used to be the home of J & M Flowers, must make way for the new central office for the school system.  They could tear them both down, but Brian Davis, Executive Director of the Historic Salisbury Foundation, and the City of Salisbury, came up with something creative.  The City's Historic Preservation Committee approved demolition with the encouragement that they collaborate with the Historic Salisbury Foundation and work together to try and find an alternative . . . and it's worth a try.  The home, once moved, would be part of the NOMA (North Main) Neighborhood and be located within the North Main Historic District.

Challenge #1:

The house is only about two blocks from the lot, but a railroad crossing means moving the house will also take some creative thinking. Moving the home from A to B and putting it on a new foundation including site work, may cost in the neighborhood of $50,000-$60,000.  However, the new owner would be getting a two story house built about 1900 and a lot for that investment of $50,000-$60,000.

Challenge #2: 

Someone would have to step up in the next 2-3 weeks and say, "We want this house, we're going to take the lot, we're going to commit to making this happen.” Anyone interested needs to step up soon, like within the next 2-3 weeks, otherwise the house will have a date with the wrecking ball. The Rowan School System hopes to have the new Salisbury-Rowan Central School Board Office built and occupied by December 2015/January 2016 so plans are moving full-speed-ahead. 

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from 1913, when the house was occupied by Martha & Joseph T. Carson.
Boston's Alley was an African-American neighborhood where several laborers and their families lived.

  • If the house can be saved, it would be good for environment in that it would keep construction materials out of the landfill.  
  • It actually could save the school board some money to have a two story demolition that is not in a land fill with land fill use fees.
  • It's one heck of a real estate deal!

Anyone interested in the house and lot package or just wants to learn more, can call the Historic Salisbury Foundation at 704-636-0103.

Picture of 516 North Main from the 1940s. We're working to find someone to move the house before it would be demolished to make way for the new Salisbury-Rowan County Central School Board Office.

To see other homes for sale in the North Main Historic District of Salisbury, North Carolina, contact Greg Rapp of Wallace Realty.  Greg is known for his knowledge of historic homes and has sold many homes in the North Main district!  Call Greg today at 704.213.6846.

This article was adapted from David Whisenat's January 15, 2015 article,  "Foundation willing to give lot away for free, but there is one catch", from wbtv.com.


Greg Rapp 
Wallace Realty Co. 
704 213 6846 Mobile 
704 636 2021 Office 

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