At Monday’s briefing session to prep for the Tuesday, Oct 20 Planning & Zoning meeting, town planner Katie DeLuca said that despite a promise to work on a solution with Planning & Zoning, she had received a panicked phonecall from the applicant’s attorney that demolition work had begun on the historic cottage at 599 West Putnam Ave.
The property, owned by Catterton Associates, a venture capital company who purchased the office building and 2.246 acres for $23 Million over the summer after renting it for 15 years. The applicant seeks a final site plan and special permit for additions and alterations to office building, installation of landscaped seating terrace, drainage and utility improvements.
Catterton plans to use the property for their permanent headquarters.
“I told him, ‘This is incredibly uncomfortable because we all took your word for it,'” DeLuca said of the promise not to demolish the historic cottage and stone wall before returning before P&Z. Though the applicant holds a valid demolition permit, and are within their rights to proceed, they had promised through their attorney to wait and work with P&Z.
DeLuca said adding that the applicant had recently postponed their spot on the Oct. 6 P&Z agenda.
There was some discussion, initiated by Mr. Maitland about the possibility of relocating the cottage to the side. He said if it could be made into an affordable unit that would be appreciated, but he wondered about parking.
Mr. Fox lamented that there is a gorgeous tree the applicant is proposing to cut down on the corner of the property.
The Historic District Commission denied the application to demolish the cottage, finding that it demonstrated special architectural character and age, and contributed significantly to the streetscape. The HDC filed a stay, which has expired a few weeks ago, which is why P&Z wanted it on the last agenda, but the applicant postponed.
Catterton’s website describes the company as “the largest and most experienced consumer-focused private equity group in North America.”