Google Ventures Partner Kevin Rose Will Preserve His Historic Portland Home After Pressure From Neighbours

In March, Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose and wife Darya purchased a historic home in Portland for $US1.3 million.

Last week, controversy erupted when the Roses’ plans to demolish the home were made public. More than 3,000 people signed a petition to convince the couple to preserve the home, which dates back to 1892 and previously belonged to a noted Portland family.

Rose said that they decided to demolish the house after inspections showed that repair work would be far more expensive than initially expected.

“After the inspections, we were properly alerted to several areas that needed to be addressed. Electrical, plumbing, foundation/basement work, and asbestos,” Rose wrote in a response to the online petition. “We then explored new construction, as it was clear to us that the cost of repairs was outweighing the cost/benefit of building new.”

The couple planned to build a 5,900-square-foot contemporary home called the “Deku Tree Retreat” on the property, located in Portland’s Willamette Heights neighbourhood.

Now, according to the Oregonian, Rose has released a statement saying that he and his wife have decided to sell the house to a longtime member of the community, who will preserve the house. Tom and Jennifer Saunders have agreed to pay $US1.375 million for the house, $US375,000 more than the Roses paid for it in March.

Rose tweeted the news of their decision on Tuesday night.

You can read the couple’s entire statement below:

Darya and I are happy to announce that we’ve come to an agreement with a long-time resident of Willamette Heights to sell 1627 NW 32nd Ave. The new buyer’s intention is not to demolish the house, but rather restore and maintain it. While this agreement isn’t fully finalised, we are hoping we can wrap things up quickly.

Over the last few days we’ve watched as comments and emotions flared on both sides of the issue. Some folks arguing for homeowner rights, others for the preservation of old homes. We’ve read all of this, along with your emails, and took it all to heart.

We decided on Portland not as an investment property, or vacation spot, but as a place we hope to one day call home, a place to raise our family. We love so much about your beautiful city, and your strong community bond is high up on that list. While we could have legally put our heads down and proceeded forward, that’s not the type of relationship we want with our neighbours and our new city friends.

Thanks for listening,

Kevin & Darya

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