The man responsible for restoring the historic Burnett estate is now applying to purchase another building on town preservationists’ priority list.
Jon Delli Priscoli responded to the RFP for purchasing Fayville Hall. He is looking to convert the building into an antiques shop and fine arts gallery.
Some residents are sure to support a proposal to preserve Fayville Village’s historic community center. The proposal also seems to accommodate the parking needs for Recreation across the way. Still, given past comments on the blog, I’m sure some will balk at his offering price of $21K. (Although it is more than 3x higher than the previous bidder’s in the first round.)
The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to discuss and potentially vote on the proposal this Monday night. (Click here for the agenda and packet.)
[Editor’s Note: Some readers will realize I haven’t finished fully covering items discussed at the last BOS meeting yet. That needs to wait for a later story. With the potential vote, I decided the item on the board’s next agenda takes precedence.]
Priscoli’s bid, as owner of First Colony Development Co, Inc, states intent beyond simple preservation. The bid includes renovation to capture a vintage Victorian look. Some highlights:
- Restoring a period correct exterior – front door pediment will be rebuilt with columns, proper shutters will be installed, flag pole will be re-installed, roof and walls re-shingled, proper moldings and corner boards installed.
- Interior renovation – first floor gutted (except for stairways) to make one large open room as the building was configured in 1911. The ceiling will be vintage tin of the period with school-house lights, making the building a period icon of the early 20th century.
- New landscaping – currently landscaping will be completely eliminated and replaced with new trees, perennial flowers, and rose bushes along with areas of lawn
Preservation was the priority raised by commenters at Town Meeting who initially opposed articles to “dispose” of the municipal property. Selectmen swayed voters by agreeing to follow an RFP process that would take that into consideration. A committee formed to work on the RFP priorities raised Recreation’s concerns. Accommodating Town parking needs was to be given equal weight in judging proposals.
Recreation was seeking some parking for the playground across the street and the baseball diamond. That meant some general parking during the day, but also occasional needs for extensive parking during baseball games. Priscoli’s bid states:
8 spaces will be permanently licensed to the town for the playground across the street. Parking will only be fully utilized on auction days. At other times there will be numerous spaces for use beyond the licensed eight spaces for the patrons of the playground.
The proposal points to Priscoli’s background expertise in preservation projects. Of course, that includes the work being done on “Deerfoot”, the former Burnett property at 84 Main Street. (You can check on that progress courtesy of Friends of Burnett-Garfield House’s Facebook page.) The selectmen’s packet included endorsement letters from two officials who worked with Priscoli on the Town’s $970K investment in a Preservation Restriction on that estate.
Advisory’s John Rooney and Joe Hubley of the Historical Commission both submitted letters of support. Rooney, a former selectman, was a point person in negotiating the agreement and securing Town Meeting votes. He wrote:
I moved to this Town for a variety of reasons, one of which was its bucolic character. The preservation of fayville Village Hall is of great consequence in this Town’s history, as it reflects our commitment to remember our history. To the extent Jon says it is his intention to advance that interest, his words have already proven reliable and trustworthy.
Historical continues to oversee Priscoli’s compliance with the Town’s agreement. Hubly wrote:
Fayville Hall has been an important part in the town’s history, culture, and heritage; it would be a shame to see it go to waste. It truly needs a lot of work, and Jon has the capability and resources to bring the Hall back to life. Imagine how beautiful Fayville Hall will be when he’s finished.
An initial RFP only garnered one application for $5K. It also promised preservation. In the end, timing requirements were too complicated to meet. Therefore, they didn’t need to the pros vs opportunity costs. Instead, they launched a new RFP which they sought to better promote.
Click here to view the application materials and letters from the meeting packet.
To read past coverage of Fayville Hall, click here.
Updated (11/20/2018 10:57 am): I fixed the spelling of Priscoli’s last name. In addition, I initially wrote that I wasn’t clear if the proposal was the only bid. I had misread a page in the agenda packet as being page 2 of the Golf Course bids. It was actually a list of responses to the RFP for Fayville Hall and listed the bid as the only response.
Updated (8/5/19 9:11 am): The former Burnett estate is being named simply “Deerfoot”, not “Deerfoot Estates” as I initially wrote.