House Hunting: Highland Park home gets high-end treatment |
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6046 Jackson St., Highland Park


Been there, re-done that.

Ron King and Joe Edelstein, partners in Wylie Holdings, started renovating homes in east Pittsburgh 18 years ago.

“We were in Lawrenceville long before it was the cool place to live,” King says. Rather than artists and entrepreneurs, King recalls a Lawrenceville with “a lot of drug dealers and prostitutes.”

Jump-cut to the summer of 2014. With all of Lawrenceville pretty much “flipped” and few investment opportunities remaining, King and Edelstein set their sights on a run-down apartment building in Highland Park. They picked it up on the cheap, for a modest auction price and back taxes.

Twelve months later, 6046 Jackson St. is on the market, with a price tag just below $900,000.

Yet, this is hardly your average fast “flip” — it’s more of a gourmet bake, with organic ingredients and meticulous preparation.

King and Edelstein went high-end all the way, from the medieval front door (wrought-iron and French glass) and hand-cut, beveled-glass front windows to the granite-top, 30-drawer dresser in the master dressing room.

And, yes, those are real hardwood floors throughout the 4,200-square-foot home.

“We went over what we wanted to spend, for sure,” King says with a chuckle.

The extravagant kitchen is a chef’s dream, featuring stainless steel, KitchenAid Architect Series II appliances, a wine chiller, marble countertops, a quartzite-topped island that’s a good 10 feet long, a backsplash made of a polished-penny mosaic and cabinets with built-in lights.

In addition to two sinks, the kitchen has a “pasta faucet” over the stove.

Up the first flight of hardwood stairs are the guest rooms and perhaps the most entertaining bathroom around. A large panel that separates the bathtub from the toilet features mood lighting with various settings.

With no visible pipes in the bathtub, are guests expected to take a “dry bath”? No worries, the flick of a switch drops water from a ceiling faucet into the tub.

Above that is the third-floor master bedroom, huge and bright. King and Edelstein removed rafters for a cathedral ceiling. An industrial-strength fan cools the huge open space, and the sprawling dressing room has a view of Oakland.

The master bath is highlighted by a locker-room-sized shower with dual showerheads over a glass and stone-mosaic tile.

King and Edelstein went mad for tiling; even the laundry room has porcelain flooring.

You may be ready to bypass the mostly unfinished basement — until you notice the walk-in wine cellar.

“Everything turned out as good or better than I expected,” King says. “When we get to the end of a project, usually I wish we would have done this or that extra. But I don’t think there’s anything I would add to this.”

For King, 6046 Jackson is far more than a costs-and-profit spreadsheet. He now lives with his wife and two children in Indiana Township but was raised by Peter and Dolly King in Morningside, a pop fly from Highland Park.

Ron King attended Peabody High School (now the Barack Obama Academy of International Studies), and his walk to school took him down Jackson Street to Highland Avenue. “I probably passed that place a hundred times,” he says of the Jackson apartment building he converted into a house.

While many of the Highland Park homes were kept in good shape, others fell into disrepair over the years. With many looking for “the next Lawrenceville,” King and Edelstein aren’t the only ones rehabbing Highland Park. Every other block seems to have a work crew and/or the tell-tale street Dumpster, filled with rotted wood and moldy carpets torn out to make way for new floors and walls.

“These houses were built for people with money,” he says. “As the area got worse, what are you going to do with 4,000-square-foot houses? They turned them into apartments.

“It’s nice when you can turn them back into what they were intended to be.”

The home at 6046 Jackson St. is on the market for $879,000.

Details: Catherine McConnell, 412-874-3074; [email protected]

Tom Scanlon is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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