|opportunity for new cohousing in Vermont||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rebecca Reid (rreidcohousing.com)|
|Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2010 04:17:54 -0800 (PST)|
This was posted on the Pioneer Valley Cohousing internal list-anyone out there interested?
Rebecca Reid Pioneer Valley Dear Neighbors - You may have heard of the inn known as "Johnny Seesaw's" that Alan's parents and aunt and uncle ran from 1938 to 1976. The place is up for sale as the present owner would like to retire. We are nervous about this - the neighboring ski area, Bromley Mountain, has a history of buying up nearby properties for future development and letting the buildings rot away. Several decades ago they bought the farm that surrounds the inn, and nothing but the cellar holes now remain of the homestead, fine barn, and caretaker's house that were once there. The inn has quite a history. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - Paula wrote the nominating documents for it several years ago. The main building was built, of logs, in 1924, in the style of a Russian izba. The builder was a Russian immigrant, Ivan Sesow, known as Johnny, hence the name. He ran it as a roadhouse and dance hall for loggers working in the area, and eventually lost it in bankruptcy. Revived as the inn, it played quite a role in the development of downhill skiing in the U.S. The National Ski Patrol and the famed Tenth Mountain Division of the U.S. Army (originally ski troops) arose from conversations among ski enthusiasts sitting round the fireplace in the early years. The Tenth broke through the German defenses during the drive up through Italy during WW II by scaling cliffs at night. The Germans thought it couldn't be done, and didn't leave their position well enough defended. The inn has been listed with Sotheby's for about a year. (Paste www.phoenixbusinessproperties.com/Print.cfm?ID=6098 into your browser to see the listing.) We gather from the present owner there have been a few nibbles but no offers. Folks interested in getting into the hotel business probably want something more modern that would take less effort to run, and, of course, the economy is down. So we've been thinking about how else the property could be used. One idea is that it would make a nearly ready made cohousing community. The main building has a 30' x 60' great room with a remarkable circular fireplace in the middle and another stone fireplace at one end, dining room, and restaurant kitchen. There are four cottages, each with 2 to 4 bedrooms and sitting room that could be converted to units, another building, now the owner's home, that could become a couple of units, and perhaps another half dozen units could be built in the upstairs and wings of the main building. There are ~7 acres of land. It is offered at $1.35 million, and would take quite a lot more to renovate and convert. It seems a bit far-fetched that there would be a group of cohousers that might be interested in that particular area (halfway between Manchester and Londonderry VT on route 11, about an hour and 45 minute drive from here) but, who knows? Anyway, if you know of anyone who might be interested, we'd like to talk to them. If not a community, there may be other "out of the box" uses of the property, such as a camp or conference center. We'll pass on any good ideas to the owner. Regards, Alan & Paula
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