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Winery giving house away so it can revamp Alexander Valley Store to serve as its tasting room

In a down housing market where real estate bargains abound, a Sonoma County winery?s offer to give away a remodeled farmhouse amounts to a steal.

But the new owner faces the expense of moving the house from a rural lot on Highway 128 outside Healdsburg, and also needs a vacant lot to land it. And time is running out.

If Medlock Ames Winery can?t find a taker in the next month, it plans to demolish the residence and salvage materials for its project to convert the Alexander Valley Store into a tasting room and produce market, while fixing up the neighboring bar. It hopes to complete the project this fall.

Medlock Ames House Giveaway

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?The reason we purchased this site was to upgrade the businesses and it wasn?t to have a single-family residence. We?re giving it away. That would be preferable to demolishing it,? said Kenneth Rochford, the winery?s general manager.

Originally built in 1920, the 1,200-square-foot home is cozy and modern after a $150,000 remodel nine years ago.

Highlights include new hardwood maple flooring throughout, tiled kitchen and bathroom, maple cabinets, bay windows, stainless steel appliances, large Jacuzzi tub, new roof and seismic upgrades. It has one bedroom and one bath.

The residence sits on the one-acre commercial lot Medlock Ames purchased from Jan Marsiglia four years ago for about $1.4 million.

?A lot of blood and sweat went into it and I know they really want it saved and moved,? said Marsiglia, now living in Windsor. ?If I had a piece of property to put it on, I?d try to get it. This is a total steal.?

Winery owners Christopher Medlock James and Ames Morison<NO1>(cq)<NO> didn?t plan on giving away the house when they purchased the Alexander Valley Store and Bar property.

Initially, they considered converting the house into a tasting room and selling homegrown produce from their vineyard and other local foods from the store. But the site isn?t large enough for the parking and septic system needed for the number of patrons at the three businesses, Rochford said.


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