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8.19.14 Historic Beverly Home Slated for Demolition

1881 General Charles G. Loring House 

The Salem News reports that the General Charles G. Loring House is slated for demolition after Beverly Historic District Commission's delay expired in April 2014.

Located at 441 Hale Street, the grand ocean-front Loring House was built in 1881 and is presently in disrepair.  The building’s demolition would mark the end of a battle between the owner, Helen Greiner, and the Beverly Historic District Commission, which imposed a one-year delay on its razing last year.  Greiner purchased the residence in 2012 for $3.75 million.

The Loring House was built in 1881 for Charles Loring, a Civil War general who became the first director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It was designed by Boston architect William Ralph Emerson, a cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Preservations say that said the house is the greatest surviving example of shingle-style architecture from the brief period when it flourished in the late 19th century.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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7.15.14 Lynn Foreclosures - Banks File Lawsuit Claiming Ordinance Unconstitutional

According to the Lynn Item, seven banks (including Eastern Bank in Lynn) have filed a complaint in U.S. District court against the City of Lynn calling the city’s foreclosure ordinance unconstitutional.

Approved in 2013, the city’s mediation ordinance requires banks to reach out to property owners who are behind on their mortgages and give homeowners a chance to meet with a bank representative and work out a way to avoid losing their home.

Ward 6 Councilor Peter Capano believes the system is working.  The city of Springfield is already in the midst of a lawsuit over its foreclosure policy, but that policy was never actually implemented. Lynn’s ordinance has been enacted and successful, according to Capano. 

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services, a Salem- and Boston-based mediator, is handling the mediations, which New Lynn Coalition member Isaac Hodes also said are going well. Hodes has been working with local homeowners under the threat of foreclosure to keep them in their homes and he said the ordinance is working.

Read the entire Lynn Item article.

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6.18.14 Salisbury Solar Farm

Salisbury solar farm

The Amesbury News reports that the solar farm off I-95 North in Salisbury is the largest solar farm in New England.  The solar farm is operated by True North by a third-generation hot water heating manufacturer who owned a plant in the adjacent Industrial Park after Massachusetts passed the 2008 Green Communities Act to encourage large landowners to invest in renewable energy.

Salisbury Solar supplies electricity to the town of Salisbury, the city of Newburyport and Triton High School, the equivalent of powering about 5,000 homes.  Plus, the communities get a 15% metering credit from the state for using renewable energy.

Read the Amesbury News article.

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5.1.14 Conomo Point Sales in Essex, MA

According to the Gloucester Times, following a Town Meeting vote, four Conomo Point properties could be soon sold to private owners.  Selling these properties (there is a total of 8) allows the town to move forward with its plan to open up Clammer’s Beach, effectively creating more public beach access for the town. Properties proposed for sale include parcels 19/97, 19/99, 19/101 and 19/102; they are proposed to go to the current land lessees who own the structures there.

Along with selling the four properties, a conceptual drawing passed out at the meeting shows Clammer’s Beach opened up to the road with parcels 19/95 and 19/96 as open land. The beach — twice as big as before, according to Selectwoman Lisa O’Donnell — would include a boat ramp, an adjacent park and a kayak ramp for residents.

Selling the four properties would result in $1 million in revenue for the town, Finance Committee Chairman Jeffrey Soulard said, adding that it would also bring in real estate tax each year.   Essex’ total operating budget is $15.5 million.

Here is the Essex Warrant following the town meeting:

Read the entire Gloucester Times article.

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4.30.14 NAR Launches First Ever Consumer Call for Action

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ first ever Consumer Call for Action (CFA) was initiated April 30, 2014, and will run through mid-July 2014. 

This consumer outreach will help NAR find out more about how NAR should communicate with consumers in the future.   It is part of a concerted homeownership awareness, education and action campaign to demonstrate to homeowners that REALTORS® share concerns with consumers on issues relating to homeownership; and that REALTORS can be counted on to articulate those concerns and stand up for consumers at the federal, state and local level.

NAR has been regularly communicating with consumers, but this is the first occasion we have asked consumers to take action.  See the FAQ on Consumer Outreach for more information

As NAR President Steve Brown said in a letter to state and local leaders on April 29, “This is an important event and effort for NAR and for homeowners, and I trust you are as proud of this step forward as the Leadership Team and I are.”

The Consumer CFA is to alert consumers that Congress is having discussions about tax reform that include the possibility of future loss of current deductions for home interest and local and state tax deductions.

Consumers are being asked to sign a petition and/or send a letter to their U.S. House of Representatives member to ask him or her to help homeowners keep their deductions.

To be clear, there is no legislation being proposed in Congress at this time to reform the federal tax code.  There are congressional discussions going on, but as NAR President Steve Brown said, “I believe it is never too early for homeowners to know what the next Congress or a future Congress may consider that will impact their investment and their home. “

<!--[if gte mso 10]> <![endif]--> This advocacy outreach to consumers is a part of NAR’s Strategic Plan and is being executed through NAR’s Community and Political Affairs Department utilizing our state-of-the-art REALTOR® Party advocacy tools.

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4.17.14 Newburyport Forward’s Vision for Newburyport Waterfront

Newburyport Forward's vision of the East Lot, looking west toward Waterfront Park.       Newburyport Forward's vision of the West Lot, looking north from the bottom of Green Street.

The Daily News reports that Newburyport Forward, a loosely organized community group, has produced its vision for Newburyport’s 4.2 riverfront acres owned by the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority.  The concept will call for 3 new buildings, including one that resembles the historic, long-departed Wolfe Tavern.

Newburyport will host an open forum where residents will be invited to bring forth their ideas on what should be done with the much-discussed central waterfront.  In fact, city officials will permit display of some images from Newburyport Forward’s portfolio when citizens gather in the parish hall of Central Congregational Church on Titcomb Street beginning at 8:30am on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

The tentative Newburyport Forward vision focuses on three possible structures: a visitors center, a WolfeTavern-like building that could include lodging, and a marketplace building that could house shops and/or restaurants.  The Wolfe Tavern was a landmark brick building that stood on State Street near the Newburyport Public Library.  It was torn down in the 1950s.

Until recently, the five-member NRA had control of the future of the central waterfront. But three members have departed from the panel, leaving it without a quorum.

Read the entire Daily News article.

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