Earlier this year, I brought the brothers-owners a skilled realtor-agent who impressed me as being focused and motivated about negotiating a sale. So far, everything he has done impresses me as staying focused on that singular goal and that is much to his credit and level of professionalism. It is true the previous $2 million dollar price tag was deemed unrealistic for current market conditions. Thus the new realtor immediately lowered the property's asking price to $980k. (the two adjacent vacant lots due South are priced at $1 million together) When offers came in at less than half of the $980k and no counter-offers made were met, a finely tuned asking price of $750k was posted. To date, a sale has not been made, but developer-investor interest in the large lot (which goes down to the Trinity in the back) has always been present as lots to either side of the Garvey property are already investor-developer owned. One recent proposal you touched on which is definitely "outside the box" , was to move the Garvey House to another location (perhaps to a side street nearby? ) but it would require the Landmark's Commission approval not to mention the added risks and hazards of jacking up and moving a nearly 120-year old house. Still better than a total loss, but not by much.
As a preservationist, I'm deeply disappointed so few preservation-minded potential buyers have shown any interest in the Garvey property. Developers appear to salivate about the land, but the landmark Garvey House, which has direct connections to Baldwin Samuel (the street's namesake) and his family (Mrs. Garvey was his granddaughter) seems decidedly under-appreciated. My gut feeling is the Garvey House will not have a happy ending but then we've seen abundant examples of former landmark homes in our city lost either to neglect (or worse, to "mysterious" fires) or razed in the name of "progress". We love to talk about our rich history in Fort Worth yet we seldom honor it in a tangible way. In the case of the Garvey property, we can quantify that amount of "honor" in dollar figures-to many, the landmark house is almost worthless yet the Trinity Bluff land is considered prime to developers. My advice to the brother who you probably talked to was to hold firm and try to get the best price he can for the property. He is nearing retirement age yet still works as a neighborhood handyman. He's also not in perfect health so whatever he realizes from a sale will be his primary source to live on for his remaining years.
As stated, I find the whole Garvey House situation quite discouraging with the chances for saving and restoring it diminishing with each passing day. The only glimmer of hope I still have comes from the old 1885 Getzendaner house across the street (760 Samuels-see separate message thread) which, against all odds, somehow landed a sympathetic buyer and now has been given an almost miraculous new lease of life; the preservation award given to the brave owners-renovators was well deserved. Maybe the same favorable outcome will bless the Garvey House but given how long its been on the market, my remaining optimism is minimal.