Describing itself as a “boutique real estate development firm whose main goal is to enrich Southern California housing by integrating mature homes back into the current market,” Re-Inhabit focuses on rehabilitating dilapidated period homes.
Previously focusing on the communities of Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood Hills, Glassell Park, Highland Park and Echo Park, Re-Inhabit recently discovered the beauties of West Adams while developing a residential property at 1700 S. Harvard in Sugar Hill. Work crews started in February 2014 and before the renovations were completed, the single-family dwelling sold by early May. Features of this two story Craftsman house located between Venice and Washington Boulevards., include a gabled roof, clapboard siding, and four pairs of noble columns supporting the overhang of a full-length porch. Work included removing awnings, knocking down un-original walls and tearing up rotted flooring, all per Harvard Heights HPOZ standards. As Re-Inhabit founder and President Rudy Dvorak describes, “We’re careful to preserve a home’s character . . . and deliberate about the materials we choose.” The Harvard exterior was painstakingly scraped, sanded and scrubbed of its 1970s textured paint coating inch-by-inch. However the firm is realistic about the modern day expectations of buyers. “We’re decisive about what needs to be done to increase the value and function of a property.” One and ½ baths were added and the kitchen was upgraded to contemporary standards while leaving charming original details, like the original wood cabinetry. Re-Inhabit integrates green standards into their projects, and uses reclaimed materials.
What is most exciting is the attention this chic firm brings to the area. As their stylish promotional materials announce “. . . if you abandon your normal route, get off the freeways and cruise the surface streets you’ll discover neighborhoods throughout LA that are absolute gems. These areas are rich in history, filled with beautiful homes, and have managed to sneak under the radar of yet another frenzied real estate market. . . .One such area to which Re-Inhabit has turned its attention is Harvard Heights whose streets are lined with fabulous Craftsman homes built in the first decade of the 1900’s.” Something that Mid-City residents have known for a long time, but real estate investors have largely ignored.
Re-Inhabit looks at overall potential of a property rather than specializing on a certain price range. Dvorak points out though that developers are hard pressed to realize sizeable gains in historic neighborhoods however, because of the high cost of careful restoration. A native of Laguna Beach currently living in Orange County, Dvorak developed a love for historic homes and West Adams when attending USC. The developers who have a sister interior design firm called L.A. Salvage. organized an art show in lieu of a real estate open house. Re-Inhabit and LA Salvage’s stunning design sense is evident in every detail of the home.
In fact Dvorak is so high on West Adams, he’s closing on another property on Hobart Boulevard near Washington Boulevard, which he will soon call home for himself, wife, three tweener/teens and beagle mix named “Nike.” While there were many surprising challenges with the first Harvard Street house, Dvorak’s best news was how gracious and welcoming the neighbors were.
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.