LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP)- A once grand and sustainable Guilded Age home is now in trouble.
The Brewer-Young mansion’s new owners say the only way to save it is to rezone the property and turn the blighted historic home into professional offices.
The decision of what to do with it has stirred controversy in Longmeadow.
It has a more than $2 million dollar price tag for renovation and upkeep. The previous owners told the new owners that during the peak winter months, the heat bill alone can be up to $4,000 a month.
“10-year plus type leases, which is what our office leases will be creates greater stability over a very very long period of time”, says Chris Orszulak, one of the new property owners.
People on both sides of the debate want to save the historic mansion. Some people 22news talked to said they’re nervous about the traffic and parking that professional offices will bring.
“There’s already too much traffic as it is”, says one Longmeadow resident, Andrew Dulaimy. “Just as long as it has the same character, the same kind of nice town to raise a family in.”
Opponents like the group, Save the Green, question the parking, traffic, and safety of re-zoning the property as well.
“I share their concerns because I am one of the abutters of the mansion, so what happens here in this building is going to affect me and the other abutters more than anyone else”, says Andrew Lam, one of the property owners.
Lam told 22news all of the home’s neighbors have approved the rezoning.
The owners showed 22News open space in the backyard where the town planning board reviewed a parking lot. They get to decide how many parking spots will be there.
A town traffic study shows traffic would increase by only 1.7% in peak commuting times. Longmeadow town manager, Stephen Crane told 22news that the town’s legal counsel says the re-zoning is not spot zoning because it is part of the town’s long-range plan and is providing a historic preservation.
The re-zoning will be approved or denied at Town Meeting at Longmeadow High School Thursday, January 25 at 7pm.