By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Officials hope an improved local economy and the removal of a state historical preservation restriction could help make the third time the charm as the town prepares again to try to find potential buyers for the Nathan Fisher House.
The town has spent years attempting to find new uses for the 3.3-acre property, which has both frontage and driveway access on Route 9. The Nathan Fisher House itself was built in 1820.
The town first attempted to sell the property on two separate occasions in 2010, but came up empty.
Town Manager Jim Malloy told the Board of Selectmen June 10 that the property should draw more interest now for two reasons. First, the earlier restriction required no significant alterations to the exterior of the building, something that would make it all but impossible for a modern use of the house's second floor, since installing an elevator would require major exterior changes.
Secondly, Malloy said the local commercial real estate market is in far better shape than in 2010, with rents up and recent success stories – including the recent award-winning renovation of the 1790 House into the home of PENTA Marketing.
Malloy said the town is still in the process of filing the necessary paperwork to remove the deed restriction. Once that is done, the town would issue a request for proposals from potential buyers. The document Malloy showed the board is similar to the earlier version and gives selectmen the ability to look favorably on proposals to retain and restore the house while also allowing them to keep the property if no acceptable bids are submitted.