Heritage commission couldn’t find buyers for vacant homes
On Monday morning, construction workers tear down the first of three small houses on Route 202 that were to be demolished. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
PETERBOROUGH —Three long-vacant houses on Route 202 just south of the Route 101 intersection came down early this week, as Stop & Shop officials apparently determined they couldn’t wait for members of the Heritage Commission to find buyers.
Heritage Commission member Duffy Monahon said Stop & Shop officials had held discussions with the commission after applying for demolition permits and appeared to be interested in selling or even donating the houses.
“I’m still hoping to get the land for Habitat for Humanity. They are having a hard time finding land that’s affordable,” Monahon said on Monday.
A Stop & Shop corporate official, who spoke anonymously because he is not a corporate spokesperson, said on Wednesday that town officials had suggested the buildings should be torn down, which led the company to apply for demolition permits. He confirmed that company representatives met with the Heritage Commission to discuss options to demolition, but the company eventually determined there was little likelihood of anyone interested in the houses coming forward.
On Wednesday, Carol Ogilvie, Peterborough’s Community Development Director, said she did not believe the town had initiated the demolition permit process.
“As far as I know, no one from the town ever asked them to tear down the houses,” Ogilvie said.
The Stop & Shop official said the buildings were in very poor condition and would have been difficult to renovate. He said the three lots had been for sale last year, but the company received no offers.
The only property Stop & Shop owns in the area is the land the houses were on. The land immediately behind is owned by PJC Peterborough Realty LLC, which is a real-estate arm of the Rite Aid Corporation.
Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.