By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Southborough – A proposed plan to demolish the historic Burnett/Garfield mansion has been put on hold after a purchase and sale agreement with the prospective buyer has expired.
A Westborough-based developer, Robert Moss, had signed a purchase and sale agreement to buy the property from Jon and Jennifer Delli Priscoli for $1.5 million. Moss had planned to demolish the house and then build three cottages on the property. The proposal drew a firestorm of protests from local residents, including over 1,400 who signed a petition urging Moss to not go ahead with the plan to demolish the historic mansion, which was built in 1850.
The Delli Priscolis released a statement through the firm Pizzi Communications Company this evening stating that the purchase and sale agreement with Moss had expired on July 18 and that they were not going to extend it.
“We were very disappointed that Mr. Moss declined to discuss preserving the house with the town,” Jon Delli Priscoli said in the release. “Had he initially made clear to my wife and me that demolition was the only option we would not have agreed to sell it to him.”
When Moss failed to meet all of the conditions listed in the purchase and sale agreement by July 18 the couple declined a request to extend it. Jon Delli Priscolli instead approached town officials on July 21 to see if the town and/or other groups would be interested in forming a plan to preserve the property.
According to the press release, town officials met that request with “measured optimism,” and agreed to begin discussions with local civic leaders on how to put together an “acceptable plan” to preserve the historic home.