WATERLOO — An effort is underway to save what has been labeled a “severely distressed” historic village home.
The former home of Judge J.K. Richardson at 101 Virginia St. has fallen into such disrepair that it is uninhabitable.
The Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank Corporation, an agency of Seneca County, acquired the property in 2018 from Richard Kenney. The land bank paid to remove more than 7.5 tons of garbage and debris from the property, demolished and removed a collapsed garage and removed trees and grapevines that had overtaken the home, all in an effort to make the property more marketable.
Now the land bank has issued a Request For Proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the Richardson House into up to four apartments.
The RFP documents can be found at the land bank’s website at www.flrlandbank.org/101-virginia-street-rfp. RFPs are due by email by Friday, May 28.
The house was built by Judge Richardson in the early 1850s. He was a prominent local lawyer and county judge, active in the Republican Party. It was constructed in the Italianate style of architecture, with the wraparound porch believed to have been added in the 1870s. The home’s mansard roof is one of the few examples of that roof style in the village.
“This is a unique opportunity within the region for rehabilitation of a severely distressed, but locally prominent, historic home,” said land bank CEO and President Joseph McGrath.
“The land bank is seeking proposals that demonstrate experience in historic preservation as well as the ability to finance the much-needed work. The land bank is willing to transfer the property for a nominal price if an applicant can demonstrate they have a viable financing strategy to complete the project,” he said.
McGrath said the land bank believes that for the project to be economically viable, revenue-producing apartments are necessary. The land bank received a zoning variance from the village for up to four apartments in the house.
The land bank acquired the property in 2018 from Kenney with the intention of stabilizing the structure. The purchase and stabilization work was funded with a grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Inc. The land bank also received a grant from the Landmark Society of Western New York to study the feasibility of a full rehabilitation of the historic home.
The assessed value of the property was reduced to $25,100, and the property is not currently listed individually or as part of a district on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information, McGrath can be reached at (315) 539-1667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.