Update on Baltic CT, Co-Housing Site
From: BARANSKI (BARANSKIVEAMF1.NL.NUWC.NAVY.MIL)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 13:08 CST
Just to let anyone who's curious...

The Great Mill in Baltic CT is a 240,000 sf five story granite cotton mill
built around 1900, which is up for sale for back taxes of $96,000.  This
includes 20+ acres of land along the Shatucket River across from the rural
village of Baltic.

The Mill was up for a tax auction in October, and no one bid on it.  I saw an
article in the paper, and decided to go look at it as a potential co-housing
site.  To make a long story short, it's a beautifull site, with *tons* of
space, adequate land (although it's strung out along to river instead of in one
clump).

There was another tax auction scheduled in December.  I was told that if no one
expressed any interest in the mill at that time, that it would be torn down for
the brick, stone and beams, and the land parcelled off.

To prevent this tragedy, I'm in the process of organizing a non-profit to take
over the mill, and renovate it, and make some productive use of it.  I've made
an arrangement with the town to convert the back taxes into a loan, in essence,
allowing us to buy the site for nothing, and put all our effort & money into
repairs and renovations.  Hooorah!

Unfortunately, most of our co-housing group, when faced with a real
possibility, decided that although they wanted to *talk* about co-housing, they
didn't want to do it *now* (or even action now, which would produce results in
five years)

So, I'm attempting to recruit more people who are *seriously* interested in
co-housing in our area.  What I am hoping for is a community in which several
people have small businesses which can make use of space in the mill for their
businesses.  For instance, I have a friend who has a wool yarn spinning mill,
another who have a cotton weaving workshop,  I'd like to have a post & beam
frame business, etc...

What would be ideal is to have a community of artisans and other sorts of
creative people...  I'd also like to have a space for Contra Dancing and other
folk music...

In addition, the mill is in the middle of the Quinebogg & Shatucket National
Heritage River Corridor.  Hopefully, the turbine room, and the main stair tower
can be used for a museum and visitor center for the Corridor.


Anyway, dispite the lack of support from the co-housing group, I'm interested
in persuing the non-profit renovation and use of the mill.  Any ideas welcome,
especially details involving renovation of old inductrial buildings.  The mill
is long and narrow, roughly 80 ft by 700 ft....

Jim.

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