Demo Delay Debate Reemerges on $3.5 Million Property

Historical Commission talk returned to the demo delay of Cap'n Jack's Inn which was recently sold to Parturk developers for $3.5 million.


First, Historical Commission members weighed in on changes to the Cap'n Jack's Inn property, recently closed and sold to developers Bruce Paradise and Barry Turkanis for $3.5 million.

The Cap'n Jack's changes include the removal of the Inn sign and awnings, and installation of a chain-link fence.

Then, at Monday's meeting, commission members debated the Jan. 16, vote they took to maintain the remaining 6 1/2-month demolition delay on the Humphrey Street property. The January vote was a rejection of the developers' proposal to restore the historic train station contingent upon an MBTA agreement.

The delay, backed by a town by-law, prevents the developers from tearing down the three Cap'n Jack buildings until Aug. 1, unless an agreement is struck between the developers and the commission. 

On Monday, commission member Angela Ippolito argued for the commission dropping its delay. In response, several fellow members argued back that the developers' proposed restoration of the historic train station failed on two accounts.

One, there was no guarantee that the MBTA would agree to a leasing agreement on the station, in which case, Bruce Paradise said he would not go forward with the station restoration, commission member Susan Munafo said.

And, two, the deal would not save the historic Cap'n Jack buildings, in particular, the original 1835 Federal style main building.

The Inn is the last remnant of the town's historic hotel heyday as a summer spot for thousands of visitors, said commission member Sylvia Belkin.

She said the buildings' demolition and replacement would be a blow to the town.

Ippolito said the commission should lift the delay and at least get something of historical value in return.

She said essentially the commission had "four people tanking a capital improvement (project) and it was a huge error" to not support the train station deal.

Ippolito said it was clear that the developers are not going to agree to change their plans to incorporate any of the existing buildings into a new development plan.

Other commission members said they want to see if there is something yet that can be done to preserve at least the main building, even perhaps seeing if someone is willing to move it to a new location.

In the meantime, the developers have closed on the property and plan to construct a structure with 15 condos on the site after they get their building permit.

Once the delay runs out, Aug. 1, or, before, if an agreement to lift the delay is reached, they will receive their building permit.

In the meantime, the Inn is out and so are its sign and awnings, and fencing has gone in.

Belkin said the changes make for an eye soar — that the buildings look like a corpse.

Others on the panel said the developers' actions were ways to protect their investment from liability issues.

Citizen Swamp February 16, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Our communities track record of buying and selling properties is not very good!
Justin Mattera February 16, 2012 at 03:00 PM
The temple was an above average investment.......
Susan Post Munafo February 17, 2012 at 03:45 AM
The 3 buildings that comprise Captain Jack's did not qualify for the National Historic Register unlike the Fish House which is on the National Register. The only recourse the Historic Commision currently has is the Preservation Bylaw, aka the Demolition Delay bylaw. The purpose of the delay is to enage the developer in meaningful conversation about alternatives to demoltion. If the developer refuses to participate in the process, the Commission has no other alternative. By the way, the Planning Board voted down the Concordia project as well, and that had no impact either, The local historic district my fellow commission member, Angela Ippolito references is the next logical step in addressing our flawed system. Louis, the commission meets the first Tuesday of every month, we welcome your participation.
My thoughts February 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Glad you don't manage my money! here is the reality....I would guess this project is going forward. You wanted penalize the Rooneys for getting the most for their property. An investment they ran, the best they could for 20yrs. Unfortunately times change and it wasnt profitable to run an inn in Swampscott. Now you want to penalize the development that has all the approvals necessay, except historical , which is only a delay. Historical should focus on preserving other properties for the future, but this book is written. For one who walks that area, I would prefer the demolition happens now rather in the height of the summer when i actually try to enjoy the area we live in. If it's not lifted now and demolition starts Aug 1, then people shouldn't complain.
Justin Mattera February 17, 2012 at 05:27 PM
You do realize that my last comment was being sarcastic right? They bought the temple for twice what they sold it for. For the record, I manage the books for my business and do just fine, but thanks for playing.


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