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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Y Developer Offers 1890-Built House to Town

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A group developing the Westport Weston Family Y into a retail and housing complex said today it has offered to avoid demolition of an adjacent 1890-built Queen Anne-style house by moving it to a nearby town-owned municipal parking lot.

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The developer of the Westport Weston Family Y has offered to move the adjoining 1890-built house at 35 Church Lane to a town parking lot to preserve it. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

A statement from Bedford Square Associates (BSA) spokesperson Karen Johnson was released in advance of tonight’s Westport Historic District Commission meeting at which discussion of the house was on the agenda.

The statement said BSA representatives met with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff on Nov. 30. It said the developers followed up with a letter received in his office on Dec. 26 outlining its offer for what has become known as the Gunn House, longtime home of a law firm headed by the late Colin (Ben) Gunn.

“While this building cannot be incorporated into our plans for the Bedford Square Development project, out of respect for those who would like to see it preserved, we have offered to relocate it,” Johnson said.

She said BSA has offered to move the structure to the nearby Elm Street municipal parking lot, known as the Baldwin Lot, and is prepared to donate the cost of moving the structure and will also gift it to the town “as a gesture of community good will.”

In addition, the spokesperson said BSA is willing to pay for the cost of constructing a foundation for the structure.

The statement said the balance of the improvements will be dictated by the ultimate use of the structure “and therefore are best left to a future developer.”

It added: “We have formally requested that the Town of Westport consider this option as a viable alternative in order to preserve the structure.”

Johnson said Joseloff asked BSA to put its options in writing, and a letter dated Dec. 21 outlining them was received in his office on Dec.  26. 

“Mr. Joseloff also asked to visit the property and was told that it could be arranged after the New Year,” the statement said.  “A visit has been scheduled for next week.”

BSA purchased the property in October 2010 for $3,250,000. The Town Assessor’s database said the house is currently appraised at $1,366,200.

Posted 01/08 at 10:44 PM

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