It’s a common sight these days to find home remodels in progress all over Bremerton.
But what about the overhaul of an entire cul-de-sac?
That’s what you’ll find at the eastern edge of F Street in Navy Yard City, where a development duo has snatched up six lots once overgrown with weeds, covered in litter and frequented by squatters.
Veteran builders Noel Larsen and John Stallings started their own company in 2013. Proserpina Construction — whose name shares that of a Roman goddess sometimes known for rebirth or renewal — aims to construct or remodel not only individual homes, but blocks of them when such possibilities arise.
The pair say they’re helping to “control the destiny” of the street’s end, as Larsen puts it, and breathe new life into it.
“It’s recreating this end of F Street,” Stallings said. “Taking it from a low point to a high point.”
That work began with a dilapidated yet robust 1937-built white house (pictured above) that was so overrun with brambles and trees you couldn’t see it from the road.
“We thought it was a vacant lot,” joked Larsen.
The house, whose residents at one time appear to have been hoarders, had been abandoned 15 years. Once the brush and trash outside had been removed, they started on the inside. There were still signs of the home’s former coal-powered heating source. Layers of junk, from wrappers left behind by squatters on top to layers of newspapers and romance novels underneath, had to be cleared away.
“It was like an archeological dig,” Stallings said.
The home has those wonderful curved archways inside that we Bremerton residents know well. The builders added a staircase to the home — the original had a door that was maybe five feet tall — and in doing so, they actually produced another archway to match the original.
It’s a sign of the times that builders now have the financial incentive to come into Bremerton and complete such projects. But the builders say they specifically wanted to create quality housing for young families. Stallings noted that builders looking to complete a remodel on the cheap might’ve put down vinyl flooring in the kitchen; they went with tile.
The duo has just about wrapped up a remodel on the home, and is at work on a second one (pictured). They’ll build four more too, hoping to have construction complete by October. They’re also planning to place a playground on some neighboring property owned by a church, to add an amenity for the children of families they hope will live there.
Later this year, I will revisit F Street and share some photos of its completed transformation.