Prairie Village in the midst of a makeover, one house at a time

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- It's out with the old, and in with the new in one popular Johnson County city.

Homeowners in Prairie Village are involved in a trend of tearing down old houses, and replacing them with new builds. Architects and laborers have been busy demolishing old homes, some of which date back 100 years. In their place, new homes are being built with all the bells and whistles, often valued much higher than the neighboring house.

Jenny Knudtson and her family are calling it "their forever home." They're thrilled with their new three-bedroom house in Prairie Village, and perhaps they should be. They used a tract of land, formerly occupied by an old house, to build exactly what they wanted.

“We wanted an extra living space in the front,” Jenny Knudtson said, while reeling off a list of upgrades her family desired. Knudtson, the mother of two, says her family moved here from a smaller home several blocks away, and in need of modern amenities.

“We had the ability to add a full bedroom and a bath in the basement,” Knudtson said.

To get those features, the Knudtsons had to raze the existing house.

“The property that was here was a two bedroom one bath house without a basement. I believe it had been a rental for 30 years. It was in disrepair,” Knudtson added.

Jenny's family isn't alone. Teardowns and new builds are sprouting up all over Prairie Village, and the new houses are, in some cases, being assessed with a property value three times that of the house nextdoor.

Johnson County's tax assessor, Paul Welcome, tells FOX 4 News that could lower overall property taxes across the city.

“If you're going to keep the money here in Prairie Village, you're going to have to allow people to improve the way they want to improve,” Knudtson said.

Teardown homes are also the subject of a series of public meetings being held in Prairie Village. Two more gatherings will be held on Monday, Feb 22nd and Wednesday, March 2nd. Both meetings will begin at 6:30pm.

Prairie Village City Hall
7700 Mission Road
Prairie Village, KS