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Gary showcases remodeled homes for sale

Robert Lu Walker Gary look pull-out pantry mud
room home 3578 Buchanan St. The home was renovated with a
federal grant is

Robert and Lu Walker of Gary look at the pull-out pantry in the mud room in a home at 3578 Buchanan St. The home was renovated with a federal grant and is now being sold by the city. | Post-Tribune photo

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Updated: September 7, 2013 6:17AM

GARY — Lu Walker’s eyes widened as she tugged on the pull-out pantry in the Glen Park home’s new mudroom. “Wow,” she told husband Robert Walker as they toured the home Monday with dozens of other prospective home buyers.

The city held open houses at this one at 3578 Buchanan St. and three other newly renovated homes being sold by the city through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

“It seems like a nice neighborhood,” said Robert Walker. “It’s quiet and peaceful.”

Community Development Director Arlene Colvin said the renovations were paid for with part of a $2.7 million three-year federal grant. The other homes are at 3660 Washington St., and 3701 and 3651 Tyler St.

The three-bedroom 1,600 square-foot ranch on Buchanan drew attention because of its spacious corner lot and size.

Workers from Amereco, Inc., of Valparaiso, which won the renovation contracts on all four homes, replaced its roof, furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring and carpeting. The house had fresh coats of paint over new drywall and a new kitchen. Workers even took out a wall to provide a more open concept.

John Blosky, environmental engineer, and Joel Carney, both of Amereco, estimated the repairs between $90,000 and $100,000.

“We are looking to generate interest,” said Colvin. “Some people have already submitted applications to a lender and hopefully we’ll sell it soon.” Colvin said the asking price on the Buchanan Street home is $58,000.

“We wanted to go to the block where there’s pockets of blight, but not whole scale. The idea is to stabilize the neighborhood,” she said.

The city is focusing its resources into redeveloping a Glen Park area called University Park, which includes Indiana University Northwest and Ivy Tech’s Gary campus.

The city is using federal dollars to demolish about 70 abandoned structures and other federal money to rehab homes to keep neighborhoods from falling into decay.

Prospective home buyers must meet a list of criteria, including having a job, and a minimum credit score of 580 with no pending collections. They must also attend homebuyer workshop classes and receive credit counseling.

The city is hosting two home buyer workshops from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 17 and Aug. 31 at 839 Broadway, Suite 302N. Contact Sherlene Shaifer at 881-5075 for information.

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