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Who Will Buy the Captain Warren House?

Edgartown is about to issue a request for proposals to purchase the long-vacant North Water Street property, formerly part of an inn. What would you like to see there? Share your visions in our comments section.

Edgartown's white elephant, the long-vacant Captain Warren House, will soon be up for sale again, with no minimum listing price and a June 1 deadline for offers.

Purchased by town taxpayers in 2004 for $3.5 million, the three-story structure built in 1850 proved to be inadequate for its intended purpose as a new home for the Edgartown Public Library next door.

The increasingly decrepit Warren House, last used as an annex for the long-closed Daggett House Inn, received no bids the last time the town offered it for sale.

In a "market value opinion" report from January, 2012, Ronald Mechur of Land Planners, Appraisals & Consultants in Oak Bluffs writes that the Warren House and the 13,262-square-foot on which it sits could be sold in various ways, "assuming demolition and remodeling approval from the Edgartown Historic District Commission is readily available."

Four possible options in Mechur's report, with the dollar amount the town might realize in each:

  1. Sale to a long-term buyer: $3,325,000 for the lot and building as is.
  2. Sale to a builder/speculator, at 20 percent less than above "for entrepreneurial profit": $2,660,000 for the lot and building.
  3. Sale of the building and 11,612 square feet of the lot, conveying to the library 1,650 square feet to the west of the property: $3,000,000.
  4. Sale of the building and 10,000 square feet of land, with 3,262 square feet (with access easement) reserved for a town parking lot that could accommodate about 11 cars: $2,132,000.

Monday, Edgartown selectmen concurred with town counsel Ron Rappaport's recommendation that no single real estate broker be selected to represent the property. 

If a purchaser wishes to use a broker, the town should pay 3 percent commission, Rappaport told the selectmen.

Also, Rappaport said, the town should not make individual appointments for viewing the property.

"The (Massachusetts) inspector general recommends we set specific parameters for when people can look at this house, so there's no risk of creating an unfair situation, Rappaport told selectmen.

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Would you like to see the Captain Warren House become a private home, condos, apartments, an inn, affordable housing, retail, a restaurant or something else? Tell us in the comments.

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Carole Charlin February 22, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Considering its location, situated on a street that is very much a historical residential neighborhood it would be a shame for it to be anything other than a private home, either single family or dual family (condo, etc.) There is already so much traffic by both car and foot on this street, we don't need another shop or restaurant. Perhaps, it could be a low traffic multi-purpose office building for art studios, workshops, lawyers, etc. keeping the historical fronting. It definately should not be raised.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Historically, this has been a business area as well: The Daggett House building across across the street was a tavern in the 1600s, a store in the 1700s, and a sailor's boarding house before it became a private home in the 1800s, then an inn for much of the 20th century; only in recent years has it become a private home again. The Warren House was an annex for the Daggett House; the owners' son had a bachelor pad on the top floor. It's been a very long time since a single family lived there.

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