Saturday, April 21, 2007

House at 1954 Commonwealth Ave Back on Market

The Allston Brighton TAB reported that the historic house at 1954 Commonwealth Avenue has been placed back on the market. The current owner bought the house in 2004 and has since sought approval to demolish or move it. Since it is located in the Aberdeen Architectural Conservation District and presumably contains a restriction against demolition on the property's deed, the Boston Landmarks Commission recommended against both moves.

It's nice to see the system work the way it should by blocking a developer's bad idea. Bravo to the local activists and BLC for fighting this one.

This owner is about to get stuck with a loss in his real estate speculation. He paid $2.8 million for it, but it is only assessed by the city at $1.1 million, so it is unlikely he'll get back his cost -- much less his $3.3 million asking price. As the TAB reports, however, the owner isn't mentioning the deed restriction in his listing. And he has listed it under land/commercial properties, rather than the 3-family residential unit it is. Please, please, don't sell it to another developer and put the neighborhood through this again.


BradM said...

I have formed a non-profit public charity for historic preservation. I would love to include this home in my preservation plans. I would appreciate any help at all in motivating teh sellers to allow us to rent-to-own while we raise money to purchase and save this home. Are you in?

BradM said...

I have created a non-profit hisotric preservation corporation to preserve a historic home in Norwood. I would love to include this home in the process...use the home to fund raise, preserve it and protect it in perpetuity. Can you all help me convince the sellers that they should aloow us to rent-to-own while we raise money to acquire and preserve this fine home? Are you IN?

Michael Pahre said...

Sounds like a reasonable idea. The problem you may face is that the owners have a very high asking price, probably much higher (at least in my mind) than it is worth. By pitching it to commercial purchasers, they may think they can get more money for it. It may be tough to raise the money they are asking.

The house was, at one time, rented by students who were highly disruptive. Any plan for renting the property should reassure the neighborhood that it will not revert to a party house.

Also, indications are that the house had some major problems requiring repair to make it inhabitable -- so you would want to look into this carefully to see how much money would be required to renovate it sufficiently that the house could pass code for rental properties.

Drop me a note if you want to put together a more substantial proposal.