Cape Gazette

Jane and Georgie makes its move

Five families have applied to live in historic house
By Ryan Mavity | Mar 07, 2013
Photo by: Ryan Mavity The former Jane and Georgie boutique in Rehoboth Beach makes its way to West Rehoboth. Utility workers were on hand to raise the electrical and telephone lines as the house moved down Rehoboth Avenue Extended.
Jane and Georgie move (Part 1)
Jane and Georgie store in Rehoboth Beach is moved to its new home in West Rehoboth. The store will be converted to a single-family home, while Jane and Georgie will build a new store at 419 Rehoboth Ave. Here, the store makes its way off the lot and down Rehoboth Avenue. (Video by: Ryan Mavity)
Jane and Georgie move (Part 2)
Utility crews raise lines along Rehoboth Avenue Extended as the Jane and Georgie building makes its way to West Rehoboth. (Video by: Ryan Mavity)

Rehoboth Beach —  

It’s not often that buildings get police escorts.

In a little less than two hours, Jane and Georgie in Rehoboth Beach made its trek from 419 Rehoboth Ave. to its new home on Burton Street in West Rehoboth.

East Coast Structural Movers, under the supervision of driver John Davidson, began moving the store around 8:45 a.m. Feb. 19. From there, the store went around the circle and down Rehoboth Avenue Extended, where it ran a gauntlet of electrical and telephone wires, lifted as the truck came through by crews from Verizon and Delmarva Power. To assist the move, Rehoboth Beach Police and Delaware State Police temporarily blocked off Rehoboth Avenue Extended to traffic.

The building, which traces its origins to 1901, will be converted into an affordable, single-family house. It is one of five relocated homes the Coalition for West Rehoboth hopes to bring to a neighborhood that traces its roots back to the post-Civil War era.

Kevin McKinney, project manager for the Coalition for West Rehoboth, said, “It’s such a great thing to be able to provide decent housing for someone. The fact that this is a historic house, going into a historic neighborhood - it’s really the perfect place for it.”

McKinney said five families have applied to live in the house, and the coalition is reviewing those applications with an eye on selecting a family at the end of the month. The coalition still needs $25,000 to build the foundation for the house, and McKinney said East Coast might donate the foundation. He said enough money has been raised for the sewer connection, although more is still needed for the water connection and renovations.

“It needs a new kitchen; it needs a bathroom done. There’s no kitchen in it at all,” McKinney said. He added that he hopes the home will be ready for occupation by the end of spring.

Kate Chambers, co-owner of Jane and Georgie with sister Lisa, said, “It’s exciting and sad. I’m excited that it's finally moving day, but I’m kind of sad to see it go. It was more upsetting when I saw them coming in and tearing it all apart to get it ready.”

Jane and Georgie plans to build a new store at the now-vacant lot, but the plans have been slowed by delays in getting permits.

“I’m hoping it could be March, but it could be April,” Chambers said.

Still, she is glad the old building did not get demolished.

“That would have been a horrible sight,” Chambers said. “Worse than seeing it get moved. It’s such a cute little building. I want to see it once they get it all set.”

The Jane and Georgie building, which traces its roots to 1901, was moved to a lot on Burton Avenue in West Rehoboth by the Coalition for West Rehoboth. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
Workers from East Coast Structural Movers take the first tentative steps off the lot with the Jane and Georgie building. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
Workers from East Coast Structural Movers secure roof tiles to the Jane and Georgie building before the move. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
Utility workers raise the electrical lines as the house gets ready to pass through. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
The Jane and Georgie building plods its way along Rehoboth Avenue Extended. The move took less than two hours to complete. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
The aftermath: the empty lot at 419 Rehoboth Avenue. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
The Jane and Georgie building is at its new home in West Rehoboth. (Photo by: Ryan Mavity)
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