January 4, 2017
ITEM FILE PHOTO
The Centre Farm property, pictured, is going up for sale.
By LEAH DEARBORN
LYNNFIELD — After months of waiting, the historic Centre Farm property is going up for sale.
Philip Crawford, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said a request for proposal (RFP) will go out on the 567 Main St. property later this week, initiating bidding solicitations.
Crawford said the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) recently approved the revised ownership restriction guidelines submitted by the town.
Town Counsel Thomas Mullen said at a selectmen meeting in late November that the town was waiting on the approval of a more comprehensive draft of restrictions that were sent to MHC with an inventory of the property and photos.
Mullen said the initial restrictions attempted to make the property as salable as possible while still preserving the distinguishing features of the building.
MHC sent back the draft and “insisted on their terminology and nothing but,” said Mullen.
The 7,167-square-foot home, built in 1785, was purchased by the town for $1.4 million in 2014 to prevent its possible destruction by developers.
“It was a wonderful thing to see the town come forward,” said Steve Todisco, chairman of the Lynnfield Historical Commission. “A lot of people really cared.”
Todisco said a number of residents in town have already expressed an interest in purchasing the property.
He said that once a buyer is selected, the commission will have 30 days to remove a painted mural from the kitchen walls of the house.
“It’s not a masterpiece, but it depicts the time period,” said Todisco. “If you wanted to modernize the house, I don’t think it would fit in very well.”
After going back and forth on whether the mural should remain in the home, Todisco said the commission decided it would be best if it was carefully removed and displayed in a public space.
“What else are we going to do, knock on the door every year and ask how the mural is doing?” said Todisco, who added that the commission is anxious to have new, responsible residents take over the house.
He said that having Market Street for commercial development gives the town an opportunity to concentrate on preserving its historic center.
Town Administrator James M. Boudreau said in October that the minimum bid for Centre Farm is set at $900,000.
Leah Dearborn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.