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.

Justin Mattera February 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Like I commented in past articles.....condos condos condos! That main house would make a fantastic single family home. If only I wanted to move back to Swampscott.
Angela Ippolito February 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Louis, You are correct. The Historical Commission should have created a Local Historic District on Humphrey street years ago before so many of the old houses were torn down and replaced with condos. This is a painful lesson and a huge loss to the town. The Fish House is on the National Register and could be protected further if it were part of a Local Historic District. At least it is occupied and maintained by its tenants. The Train Depot is also a National Register property, vacant, unfunded and endangered. Every effort should be made by the Commission and the Town to preserve this property.
Angela Ippolito February 14, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Justin, "That main house would make a fantastic single family home" ---Yes! except for the fact that it was never offered for sale as a single property. In fact, none of the 3 buildings were listed on GLS.
My thoughts February 14, 2012 at 04:32 PM
This is all just nonsense. Unfortunately, it's to late for Captain Jacks. let them go forward now. I certainly dont want all the site work and dust around durning the height of the summer months. Rather they do it now.
Citizen Swamp February 14, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Does anyone think that property would have sold for $3.5 million as a single family?
My thoughts February 14, 2012 at 06:48 PM
If historical thinks it looks like an eye sore now...they only have themselves to blame.
Justin Mattera February 15, 2012 at 07:25 PM
That one property would not have sold for $3.5M, lets no be ridiculous. However if each of the buildings were sold as single family homes, the total may have been even more. I realize that selling 3 or 4 homes would have taken longer and added stress, but the outcome would have been better.......it would have eliminated the additional condos that everyone seems to love.
My thoughts February 16, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Justin, maybe you or the town should just buy the property and take the risk you can sell it. The developers have said they would entertain an offer but as we all know, others are not willing to take the risk. They at least offered to restore one of the oldest buildings in town.
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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