Shacks on Racks moves last cabin at 105 Mercill Ave., makes way for affordable housing project

JACKSON, Wyo. — The last cabin at 105 Mercill Avenue was removed today April 2, by Shacks on Racks. The log garage is being moved to a private residence in Idaho. The lot will become the new home a 30 unit affordable housing project, set to break ground this spring.

Shacks on Racks

Shacks on Racks works to relocate homes in Teton County scheduled for demolition. Founder, Esther Judge-Lennox started the nonprofit in 2016 after realizing that perfectly good homes were going to the trash in a town that suffered from a housing crisis.

“In 2019 about 94% of structures with demolition permits were taken to the trash. Relocating these gems is economic and a stellar idea for workforce housing, first-time homeowners, and anyone who’d rather not see them go to the trash. I’m here to educate the market for both people looking to relocate homes as well as homeowners who are thinking about applying for a demolition permit in hopes of getting more time than 90 days,” said Judge-Lennox.

“We are in a housing crisis, let’s do something about it,” says Judge-Lennox.

The garage cabin at 105 Mercill Avenue was removed by Shacks on Racks yesterday, April 2, at about 8 a.m. The oversized load made its way to its new home in Victor by way of Pine Creek Pass.

The structure, formerly used as a storage garage was loaded onto a semi-truck yesterday and moved to Victor. Photo: Lindsay Vallen // Buckrail

New owner Aska Langman received the structure this afternoon at her 50-acre farm in Victor. She said she was giggling as the semi-truck pulled down her driveway with her new garage on the trailer. “I love Esther’s passion for what she does,” said Aska Langman.

The Langman family plans to use the building as a storage shed for the time being.  “It’s a free building we just had to pay to move it,” said Langman, “It’s fun to have a little piece of history,” she said.

Photo: Lindsay Vallen // Bukrail

The structure was built in 1945, in addition to saving the structure from the trash, a huge environmental win, Langmans sees it as “preserving history.”

Mercill Ave. condos at 105 Mercill Ave.

A sketch of the new property at 105 Mercill Ave. Photo: TOJ

Teton County has owned the 1.15-acre parcel at the corner of Mercill Avenue and N Glenwood Street since the early 1980s. The land is currently valued at $2.1 million. The parcel will be split between the new affordable housing project, Mercill Ave. condos,  and the Children’s Learning Center.

The now empty lot at 105 Mercill Ave. Photo: Lindsay Vallen // Buckrail

The project will result in 30 units available to households working in Teton County. 20 units will be one-bedroom and 1o units will be two bedrooms.

The Board of County Commissioners voted in February to purchase the commercial space in the building. The  6,800 square feet of commercial space in the building is $800/square foot.

The Board has discussed using this space for early childhood education purposes, which is another financial burden for working families in the valley.

Other historical structures on the property were moved by the town for the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. One building, a cinderblock structure was demolished on the property. According to the town, the move and demolition cost the town $130,000 total.

The historic cabins were placed on Town property while the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum works to ready their new site on the Genevieve Block. The Town of Jackson is providing this storage space for free.

With the help of Shacks on Racks, all of the historical structures were saved.

Lower Valley Energy will begin site work in early April 2021 with an official groundbreaking expected to occur after that. The project is anticipated to be completed by December of 2022.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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