With link to video of house as amusement ride
Nestled in the highly desirable Forest Hills neighborhood of midtown Tulsa is where you’ll find this week’s Showcase Home, 3006 S. Yorktown Ave.
This beautiful home features five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a two-car garage and a backyard pool. It spans nearly 6,000 square feet across one level and is located on half an acre.
Though this home was built in 1970, it essentially feels like a new home. Last year, the owners completed an astounding renovation, adding two bedrooms, a bathroom and a gym, implementing new finishes, tile and flooring, remodeling the pool, redoing the exterior landscaping and more.
“We’re offering a house that’s essentially brand new and maintenance-free in a beautiful, established neighborhood,” said owner Brad Jobe. “We really wanted to do this renovation right.”
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What’s more, this home boasts a prime midtown location and is just a short drive from Utica Square, Philbrook and Brookside.
While Jobe said he’ll miss the home he’s leaving behind, he’s excited for the next owners to take advantage of all it has to offer. Due to its size and layout, this home, he said, is ideal for someone who loves to host.
“I can’t imagine a better house for someone who likes to entertain,” Jobe said. “Because it’s one level and there are so many entry and exit points off the back of the house and into the backyard, it’s great interior-exterior living.”
Jobe’s favorite part of the home is that it’s not what people expect to see when they look at it from the outside.
“It’s full of surprises,” Jobe said. “People are surprised by the size, the scale, the finishes and details. There are many ‘wow’ moments.”
For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Blake Loveless, Walter & Associates, 918-645-4662.
The Kelowna branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is in talks with UBC Okanagan about selling its property to the university and moving into the new 43-storey vertical campus.
Legion officials see the possible move as a way to rejuvenate the organization, boost its membership, and greatly increase its revenue from food and beverage operations.
“It would be my dream come true for us to get into that new tower,” Legion president Darlene McCaffery said Wednesday in an interview.
“We could really prosper and when we prosper, the community prospers,” McCaffery said. “We’ve been talking to the university people for some time, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth about the value of our land, but I think discussions are really going to speed up in the very near future.
“But whatever happens to the Legion, it’s up to us,” McCaffery said. “If we can’t do a deal that’s right for us, well then we’ll just continue working with what we’ve got.”
The university has city approvals to begin construction on the 43-storey tower at 550 Doyle Ave, a project that was announced more than two years ago.
The Legion property is across an alley from the site, at 1380 Bertram St. It’s four-tenths of an acre in size, and has an assessed value of $3.3 million, of which $2.8 million is in the land.
Dozens of Legion branches, plagued by falling membership and financial problems, have closed across Canada in recent years.
McCaffery said the Kelowna branch is in reasonable shape, with more than 700 members, and a steady stream of revenue from food and beverage sales. But upkeep of the 50-year-old one storey building is a challenge, she said.
“The place is two-bitting us to death. There’s constantly repairs, repairs, repairs,” she said.
Some Legion members suggest simply selling the site and relocating elsewhere, but McCaffery said they likely couldn’t find a suitable space with the proceeds they’d get from the sale of their property.
And there’s some concern that if the Legion doesn’t do a deal with the university, the organization could find itself in the future with a relatively small property sandwiched between other planned and likely high-rises.
“Then our property would never be near what it is worth now,” she said. “It would be in the middle of everything and no contractor would want to buy it.”
However a possible deal with UBCO might evolve, Legion members are determined that the organization should own space in the new tower, not lease premises on a long-term basis.
“We will always own whatever we get before we make any deal. That just won’t happen,” she said. “We don’t ever want to be a tenant. A lot of people have worked for years to pay for the property we have now. We’re not selling this dirt, unless we get an equal amount of dirt, so to speak, in the new building, and we own it free and clear.”
The new university campus will be a hive of activity day and night, with nearly 500 residential suites above about 10 floors of academic space. “We could get so many new members, particularly young ones,” McCaffery said. “And not just members. There’d be a lot of potential customers for our bar.”
Any commercial business, such as a restaurant or pub, would likely be profitable almost immediately in the new university tower. It’s unclear if the university would want the Legion to run such an operation, or turn to a business with a higher commercial profile, and simply provide the Legion with meeting space in the new building.
Nor is it clear if or how the university’s possible acquisition of the Legion site would affect plans already approved for the downtown campus.
Representatives of UBC Okanagan have not responded in the past week to repeated requests for information about the university’s discussions with the Legion.
Seeing the Atlantic Ocean from your bedroom through french doors leading out to a sun-soaked porch is a common dream that may be out of reach for many beach lovers.
Faith and Mike Rose of New Jersey were able to make their sandy dreams a reality when they bought a $1.9 million home in the Cherry Grove section of North Myrtle Beach earlier this year.
Not only were they able to find a home big enough to fit their seven children, but the Roses also found themselves as the stars of an episode of American Dream Home, a reality television show all about the home hunting process.
Mike Rose, owner of a marketing firm, said that when the opportunity to be on the show first presented itself that he and his wife, Faith, a homeschool teacher and parish director, were hesitant.
“My first response was, ‘no,’” he said. “But then we kind of thought, ‘Well, this can be good,’ because we can rent out the house in terms of, ‘Come stay at the American Dream Home!’”
American Dream Home is a FOX Business Network show hosted by Cheryl Casone.
According to FOX spokesperson, Sofie Watson, “Cheryl Casone joined the network when it launched in 2007 and after buying and renovating her apartment in NYC, she became hooked on real estate. Prior to her career in financial journalism, Casone got her start in business as a flight attendant – so American Dream Home is the perfect culmination of her life story.”
American Dream Home features families who are presented with a few different homes that fit their needs, and, by the end of the episode, the families announce which home they want to purchase.
“Mike and Faith faced a competitive housing market when they went in search of their American Dream Home in North Myrtle Beach,” Casone said. “Investors have been buying up properties there, in particular since the pandemic. Who wouldn’t want to look at those gorgeous beaches every day!
“With inventories so low they had to make a quick decision. Things would list for sale and be gone incredibly fast! It was definitely a pressure situation, but they are such a great team as a couple. I loved how dedicated they were to make sure the home they bought was perfect for their kids. Someday even grandkids! That’s some impressive long-term planning!”
DANVILLE — A gym isn’t the only part of True Grit Fitness owner Matt Stines’ plans for a new athletic facility along North Vermilion Street.
New to the area as part of the building would be indoor batting cages.
Stines’ and True Grit Fitness’s rezoning request now moves onto the Danville City Council for action after the Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission approved the rezoning request Thursday night for the construction of the new facility near Wal-Mart.
The commission voted 4-0, with commissioners Pete Goodwin, Tammy Wilson, Aaron Troglia and Justin Fleming voting for it, and commissioners Adam Brown, Michael Hall and Troy Savalick absent, to recommend approving a request by True Grit Fitness to amend the city’s zoning map from B-2 Highway Commercial to B-3 General Commercial zoning for the vacant property at North Vermilion Street and Devonshire Drive for an athletic training facility.
The city council will act on the request on Nov. 15.
Stines is the owner of True Grit Fitness in Tilton. The Danville facility would be an expansion.
“We’re pretty busy,” he said, about why they are looking to expand into Danville.
The proposed site is 2.3 acres north of Devonshire Road on the west side of Route 1/Vermilion Street.
It’d be a 14,000 square foot building, half gym and half indoor batting cages.
Stines said there will be a good buffer to the north and south. They also will keep the tree line near the entrance to Devonshire Drive.
“I think that it’s a less intrusive type of business for that area. I live in Devonshire myself. I think it’s a good deal for the neighborhood …, ” Stines said.
He said they’ll keep an eye on construction and make sure it’s built properly and addresses any buffering concerns with the neighborhood.
He said the entrance to the facility will be off Denvonshire Drive. They didn’t want to get the Illinois Department of Transporation involved with an entrance off Route 1.
Stines said Devonshire Drive is a Vermilion County Road.
He said they can improve that dark entrance area too with more lighting.
“I think if we can improve that section of Devonshire Road, it won’t be so dark,” he said.
The battling cages will be for people who want to practice all year round such as for youths in travel ball, like his son, and those with American Legion Post 210 Baseball, he said.
He said they’ve seen interest in this and “it’s a good play off the gym.”
With the Tilton gym, they also have a tanning salon, and it’s not really catered toward the sports athlete, Stines said.
The Danville True Grit Fitness would be staffed from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It is a 24-hour facility,” Stines said, but added that the batting cages would have more custom hours.
He said they have good security cameras, and “we haven’t had any issues where we are at.”
Some residents have concerns with the west side of the property near the townhomes and condos.
“We want to add some landscaping and trees and stuff,” Stines said about having more of a buffer and another layer of trees.
Part of the timeline on constriction is not in Stines’ control.
He said heating and air conditioning equipment is out many weeks for delivery.
“I wanted to be open by March,” he said.
Now a more realistic timeframe is opening in April or May, he said.
Stines said Offutt Development owns the property, built the True Grit facility in Tilton and will be building this building.
“We had a good experiernce with that and would like to keep it the same, uniform,” Stines said.
He too told Devonshire residents in attendance at the zoning meeting that “it’s a quiet facility on the outside.”
Commissioner Wilson said this will give something positive for youths to do to stay off the streets where they can get in trouble.
She also asked Stines to consider scholarships or financial assistance to help those serious about athletics to help pay for the costs for usage of the facility.
“I’m absolutely for it,” Stines said.
Danville Community Development Administrator Logan Cronk said “this is honestly a dream case scenario for the surrounding community.”
He said under current zoning for the vacant land, a truck stop or gas station could go there.
He said the city thinks it’s a great fit to have an athletic facility and gymnasium there that even Devonshire residents can use.
“We’re looking forward to working with them,” Cronk said.
Commission chairman Goodwin also added that there has been some blight there at the site, with overgrown grass. He too thinks the athletic facility will look nice there.
In other business, the commission recommended approving:
- A special-use permit request from Jett and John Jansky to operate a tattoo parlor, as part of Jansky Studios Tattoo and Art Gallery, at 7 E. North St. in downtown Danville. The site, the North Street portion of the three-story commercial structure at Vermilion and North streets behind Sweet Repeats at the corner, is zoned B-4 Central Business in the downtown area. It is currently a private art studio.
Jett told the commission they’d been operating at a tattoo parlor on Gilbert Street. The business moved out of Danville.
“It is important for us to remain part of the community,” Jett said.
He said he and his father have been part of the community for a long time. Many know Jett’s father for his speed painting events.
Jett said hours at first for the art studio and tattoo parlor would be by appointment only. They may have set hours later. He said they usually have performed their work between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Cronk too said this was a dream case scenario for the property, with not too much traffic with the tattoo parlor.
- A city request of a text amendment to Chapter 150.115 Table VII-2 standards for wall signs, of the city’s zoning ordinance. Cronk said as the zoning ordinance is currently written, signs on larger buildings are limited three separate times, and aren’t able to be seen with current restrictions on mega buildings now being built such as with FedEx, Carle and Viscofan’s tower. McLane also would be allowed to put up large ‘now hiring’ temporary signage. In business and industrial districts, the maximum area of signs per frontage would be 10 percent of wall area. Being removed is up to a maximum of varying square feet, and square feet specified for maximum area of individual sign. The metric change is from a fixed maximum sign size, regardless of the size of the wall on which the sign will be affixed, to a ratio of maximum sign size to wall space. Cronk said the basis for the text amendment is that Danville is changing and growing. There’s been confusion on signage and city officials think it’s a little too restrictive. The change also will bring some current large signs on businesses into conformity. Cronk said the allotted wall coverage is not going to be intrusive to the community.
DANVILLE — True Grit Fitness is proposing an expansion in Danville.
The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request by True Grit Fitness to amend the zoning map at the commission’s 5:15 p.m. meeting on Nov. 3 at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.
True Grit Fitness is requesting to amend the zoning map from B-2 Highway Commercial to B-3 General Commercial zoning for the vacant property at North Vermilion Street and Devonshire Drive for an athletic training facility.
Danville Community Development Administrator Logan Cronk said the vacant site is the closest lot to Devonshire Drive on the west side of Vermilion Street near Wal-Mart. The property is 2.3 acres.
The facility would be in addition to petitioner Matt Stines’ True Grit Gym and Fitness Center in Tilton.
Future land use map designation is regional commercial development. The zoning paperwork states the parcel is located in a district of mixed-use containing residential, retail, vacant land and a vacant medical building.
Cronk said an athletic training facility is one of the least intrusive uses that could probably be put on that site. There are strict screening guidelines near the residential area. He said commercial businesses next to residential is not uncommon.
“This site has two lots buffering it from a quadplex,” Cronk said.
In other business, the commission will consider approving:
- A special-use permit request from Jett and John Jansky to operate a tattoo parlor, as part of Jansky Studios Tattoo and Art Gallery, at 7 E. North St. in downtown Danville. The site, the back part of the three-story commercial structure at Vermilion and North streets, is zoned B-4 Central Business in the downtown area, is owned by Peter Blackmon and is currently a private art studio.
- “These two artists (the Janskys) have been involved in the Danville community for years, providing clean, quality tattoo service and doing speed painting events for numerous celebrities, athletes, charities, fundraisers and music events nationwide and in the Danville area. With your approval, these tattoos and paintings would like to be showcased in this location,” Jett and John Jansky’s paperwork reads.
- “We have much support from the community and surrounding businesses that would like to see this come to fruition. We think this will be a great addition to downtown’s image considering all the art painted on buildings and having a rich history and appreciation of creatives from this area, like us. We do not look to be a disturbance or inconvenience to the other businesses in this area. We only hope to provide an excellent image to the area and maybe change some preconceived negative ideas about the tattoo industry. We will be appointment only, for the most part, allowing a small group of people into the building at a time; that way we are mindful of traffic flow and parking spaces for other businesses. We only plan to redecorate and remodel the inside of the building with our landlord Peter Blackmon’s approval. We do not intent to disturb or change the outside of the building structure, except a sign hung on the storefront for business purposes. This will solely be a storefront business, just like the many businesses that already exist in this area. We plan to work with the city and meet any expectations they might have of us to make this happen cohesively.”
- A city request of a text amendment to Chapter 150.115 Table VII-2 standards for wall signs, of the city’s zoning ordinance. Cronk said as the zoning ordinance is currently written, signs on larger buildings are limited three separate times, and aren’t able to be seen with current restrictions. “We’re being proactive …, “ Cronk said about supporting larger structures, like Carle’s, FedEx, Viscofan, McLane’s, the casino and others. “We’re trying to make it more common sense,” he said. In business and industrial districts, the maximum area of signs per frontage would be 10 percent of wall area. Being removed is up to a maximum of varying square feet, and square feet specified for maximum area of individual sign. The metric change is from a fixed maximum sign size, regardless of the size of the wall on which the sign will be affixed, to a ratio of maximum sign size to wall space. Also, according to the paperwork for the request, the city states, “the city has been approached by several commercial entities (one not-for-profit and for-profit entities) who seek to place large signs on very large exterior walls. As currently drafted, Table VII will not allow them to place signs that other businesses within the city have placed on their respective buildings. Further, the city seeks some basic aesthetic uniformity in proportional allowable maximum wall surface to sign surface, i.e. 10 percent of wall surface. Moreover, the city wants to conform its ordinance to what is currently present throughout the city in terms of signs on large commercial properties.” Sign photos shown in the zoning packet include Meijer, Kohl’s and T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Menards, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, AutoZone and others. “We just need to grow with how the community is growing,” Cronk said.
Cronk said he’s not gotten any feedback from neighbors regarding any of the agenda items.
When a man from Baltimore began work on a house in the Glenwood Springs area more than four decades ago, it was a matter of building from a cliffside in, rather than from the ground up.
Since then, Joseph Claudon and his wife Celina have made their home in one of the more unusual locations imaginable ― a cave known as Cave of the Chimes that pokes into the side of Iron Mountain. The site is perched hundreds of feet up the north side of Glenwood Canyon on its western end and not far from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, also on Iron Mountain.
The Futuro of Willingboro arrived in 1973 with a helicopter lowering a modular house that looked like a UFO onto a shopping center site where it would soon open as a bank.
“We used to call it the little spaceship,” said Dionne Bolden, who grew up in Willingboro and is the township’s acting director of recreation and parks.
Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the 1960s and built by a Philadelphia company at an Atlantic County factory, Futuro houses were intended for use as ski chalets or second homes. They never really took off for residential or commercial use in the 1970s; about a third of the nearly 100 believed to have been built have been lost or destroyed.
But these fanciful, prefabricated structures of reinforced plastic — featuring built-in furniture and porthole windows — are finding new fans on social media, as well as new life as travel accommodations.
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“We get calls from people who want to buy it,” Bolden said. “But it’s part of our history. We don’t want to lose it, and we definitely don’t want to sell it.”
Meanwhile, two Midwestern entrepreneurs are separately preparing to launch new iterations of these midcentury modern artifacts.
In Euclid, Ohio, Futuro Houses LLC is developing a prototype for new models aimed at the market for sustainable, compact living. The firm expects to have basic, “shell kit” models available for purchase within three months, said CEO Anthony Corpora. The price of a shell kit is listed at $179,500 and a “full loaded” model for $279,500.
Last year, Kris Swain, owner of Atomic Specialties in Oxford, Ohio, purchased a vintage Futuro that had sat for years in a Cumberland County boatyard and is using it to create molds for a new generation of the houses.
The boatyard Futuro had once been part of an outer space-themed attraction at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, with which Swain has long done work.
“We’re popping one out for Morey’s Piers next spring,” he said. “We’ve got 100 of them on order for Airbnbs.”
An Airbnb Futuro in Joshua Tree, California, already is booked months in advance, said Simon Robson, a self-taught researcher and historian who oversees the website thefuturohouse.com.
A galaxy of Futuros online
Robson posts documents, press clippings and fan photos of glowingly restored Futuros in states such as Texas, as well as in New Zealand, Japan and other countries across the globe. The site also provides updates on the latest sightings of the long-elusive or endangered Futuros he calls “Lost Souls.”
“I get really happy when I hear that one of them is getting the love and care it deserves,” Robson said from his home in Dallas. “It’s sad that some of the Futuros are allowed to deteriorate. There’s maybe 65 of the nearly 100 that were made still left on the planet. And that’s not very many.”
The original houses were fabricated in Pleasantville by the Futuro Corp. of Philadelphia. The firm hoped to sell 10,000 units nationwide and built virtually all of the Futuros that still exist in the United States, said Robson.
According to a copy of the corporation’s 1971 retail price list posted on Robson’s website, the cost of a new Futuro ranged from $12,500 for a shell to $23,400 for a two-bedroom, two-bath, completely furnished model.
Promotional materials and vintage photographs showcased in a story on the Society for Gentlemen Explorers website include shots of models in miniskirts and bikinis posing with Futuros on ski slopes and against other scenic backdrops. And no less an authority than Playboy magazine raved about Futuros in 1970, describing them as perfect “playpens’ for space-age swingers.
America got its first look at a Futuro when a Finnish-made house was put on exhibit at Philadelphia International Airport in 1969.
But an American model displayed on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway to raise money for a children’s charity became an object of derision in 1970. One Inquirer story referred to “that egg-shaped thing with the portholes” ruining the landscape near the Franklin Institute.
“Philly reacted to them with sheer hatred,” said Michael Bixler, managing editor of the Hidden City Philadelphia website. “People didn’t take the Futuro seriously. They thought of it as foreign, or a gimmick ― not a house to live in.”
What might have been the Parkway Futuro later racked up $750 in overdue fees while being stored at a Center City parking lot. And one of the two Futuros known to have existed in Philly was set on fire, said Bixler.
He and his wife, Kate, stumbled upon the Willingboro Futuro in 2018 and ever since have been seeking out and documenting the houses, including those in the Philadelphia region.
The couple have visited two intact Futuros in southern Delaware, including one that has been used as a residence for 50 years. They’ve also chronicled a since-demolished Futuro in Delaware County, and the one Swain purchased and moved to Ohio from Cumberland County last year.
Futuros “remind me of the futuristic concept designs of the ‘Atomic Age,’ like the buildings and exhibits at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair,” Kate Bixler, who works in publishing, said in an email.
The homes “are actually very spacious (no pun intended),” she said. “They feel like a place where one could feel free to absorb themselves in their thoughts and dreams.”
Competing visions of a new Futuro
Corpora, whose company plans to produce an updated variation on the Futuro, said the original houses “were a big success that fell short,” in part due to limitations in the design and the materials used to make them.
The major flaw: The porthole-like windows of the original Futuros did not open; the new ones will. The supporting structure of original Futuros also contained wood, which the new ones won’t.
“Futuros have a huge following, and they are iconic across the world,” said Corpora, whose primary business is designing, building and fitting out campers. The same composite materials that go into the camper bodies will produce the new Futuros, he said.
The latest iteration also will be divided into sections that can easily be shipped to a buyer’s home or chosen construction site, much like the Sears “kit” houses of the 20th century.
“It will be a complete plug-and-play assembly,” Corpora said. “A couple of people with a basic set of tools and a few helpers can do it in a weekend.”
Atomic Specialties has long been in the business of “creating custom sculptures and fiberglass parts for theme park rides,” said Swain, whose company is producing the new Futuros — a basic model is expected to retail for $80,000 — in partnership with Brainchild Creative, in Sevierville, Tennessee.
“I’m a fan of Futuros, and I wanted one,” Brainchild owner Steve Brauch said. “They have a retro vibe to them [about] the future 50 years ago.”
Both men said the interest in tiny homes is creating a market. And the association with an earlier era is part of the appeal.
The design of the Futuro “is like a pinnacle of the midcentury modern era,” Swain said. “There were other shapes. But there’s something about this one.”
The future of the Willingboro Futuro
Itself a space-age suburb ― Willingboro was built by William Levitt, of Levittown fame ― the township hopes to see its Futuro restored. After serving as a branch of a New Jersey-based bank and as an office for Willingboro’s Police Athletic League, the structure has in recent decades been used only for storage.
“We have to figure out what we should do with the building in order to preserve and reuse it,” Bolden said. “There are people in the community who want to be a part of that process.”
In 2020, the advocacy group Preservation New Jersey named the Willingboro and Greenwich Futuros to its list of the most endangered places in the state.
“We would like to see [the Futuro] rehabilitated for public use, and for benefit of the community,” said Rikki Massand, a member of the organization’s board.
“The structure is representative of an era. It was designed by a master architect,” he said. “There’s a lot of nostalgia for the idea of space exploration. And there’s a special feeling when you see the Futuro.”