By Keith Regan, Community Reporter
WestboroughAfter years of trying, the town has found a buyer for the Nathan Fisher House.
The Board of Selectmen voted June 9 to accept a bid from Release Well Being Center LLC to purchase the house and the 3.3 acres it is located on the westbound side of Route 9 for $1.1 million.
Company owner Linda Townsend’s proposal includes reusing the housewhich dates to 1820as part of what will be a larger complex with a 7,200-square foot wellness center addition and 7,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
Townsend’s offer was the highest among the five proposals received, but price was not the only consideration used, said Town Manager Jim Malloy. Other factors included impacts of the proposals on the neighborhood, value to the community and economic factors.
“We think it was a very fair process and we are opting to put our best foot forward and have a development that will keep the house intact,” Malloy said.
Westborough has been trying to sell the house since 2010, after taking control of it from the state. Twice the town received no viable bids while trying to sell the property with a permanent historical preservation restriction on it in place and even after having that restriction removed, a third attempt to find a buyer also proved fruitless.
Although it hoped to find a buyer willing to preserve and restore the housesimilar to the work done by Penta Communications, Inc. at the 1790 House just across Route 9the most recent request for proposals did not contain any such restrictions.
This time, five proposals were submitted. Other proposals included professional office space, retail and residential mixed use. Not all would-be developers pledged to keep the house intact.
The town will have to split the proceeds of the sale with the state, as part of an agreement under which the town took control of the house. About $625,000 will go into the town’s reserve receipts account, Malloy said.
Townsend said she hopes to open sometime next year and said the center will offer a variety of wellness services in a single location.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Selectman Ian Johnson. “The town has been through a lot with the Nathan Fisher House.”