Historic Homes For Sale
Lennar Mare Island Puts Four More Classic Houses on the Market
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Janet Fortner, left, and her husband, Kent, were one of the first people to buy one of the historic homes on Mare Island. They bought the home late last year and have been remodeling it since. (J.L. Sousa/Times-Herald)
What's it like to live in a house that was standing when your grandfather was a child and cost only a few thousand dollars to build?
Kent Fortner says it's "pretty cool," and he should know. Last year he and his wife bought an historic home on Mare Island that he said was likely built in the early 1920s.
Lennar Mare Island now is offering four more of the historic homes along Azuar Drive for sale. The first open house was last weekend and drew more than 100 people, said Lennar's David Garland.
"There's already a lot of interest and a couple of offers in," he said. "And we expect a few more."
The homes, surrounded by the palm and eucalyptus trees that line Azuar Drive, range from about 1,200 square-feet to about 2,200 square-feet and in price from the low-$300,000s to the low-$500,000s, Garland said. Each features enclosed porches, large rooms and hardwood floors.
Like the newly available old homes, Fortner's has a story.
"My house used to belong to the Radio Officer in Charge at the Naval base, and we understand that the first call that came in from Pearl Harbor, came to Mare Island before being forwarded to D.C.," Fortner said. "It gives me goose pimples to think that the man who lived in my house may have been the first person on the mainland to know about the attack on Pearl Harbor."
Fortner, his wife Janet, both 37, and their 2-year-old son, Owen, moved in December to Vallejo from Napa, where he's a vintner, he said.
"We wanted something a little bigger to fit our family and a little older with some charm," Fortner said. "We couldn't find anything even close in Napa for under a million and a half."
They said they found the "perfect" place on Mare Island for about half that, he said.
The new set of old homes Lennar is selling also once were residences for married radio operators, said Garland and Lennar spokesman Jason Keadjian.
Once the Mare Island environmental cleanup is done and the infrastructure installed, nearly all the island's nearly 30 historic homes will be sold, Keadjian said.
"This is part of Lennar Mare Island's fulfillment of its responsibility for the reuse of Mare Island," he said. "To foster historic rehabilitation and provide opportunities for third-party investment."
E-mail Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at RachelZ@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6824.
Open houses scheduled for four Mare Island historic homes:
• Today, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Call Realty World Silverado, 333-5023, 712-1309, 315-0484
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