NORTH KINGSTOWN — It would cost more than $750,000 to fully restore a historic home at 173 Boston Neck Road that was supposed to be preserved as part of a seven-unit subdivision approved in 2006, according to a new developer that wants to take over the proposed Stonecroft at Wickford Village project.
Developer Alex Petrucci and his business partner, Robert Carr, hired a engineer to evaluate the condition of the 2,020-square-foot building – which was built in 1800 – at the request of the town’s Planning Commission.
According to a report by engineer David Seymour, the building is unsafe, not structurally sound, in violation of current building code standards and is a fire hazard.
To bring the building up to code, Seymour said all of the first-floor support beams and floor joists would have to be removed and replaced, the entire roof would have to be replaced, the concrete slab floor in the basement would have to be replaced and about 75 percent of the structural elements of the second floor and attic would have to be replaced.
In addition, the entire foundation would have to be excavated and French drains, sump pumps and a dehumidifier system would have to be installed to mitigate water infiltration, he said.
“Any normal person who went over there and who wasn’t in this business would say, ‘Get a match,’” Carr said Tuesday, later adding, “The building will not be saved. I don’t care who’s doing it.”
In a heated moment during Tuesday night’s Planning Commission meeting, Petrucci and commission member Michael Annarummo butted heads over the cost estimate of $768,300 to restore the building offered by Frank Karpowicz Architects.
“I don’t believe the number,” Annarummo said.
“Why don’t you go do it then?” Petrucci snapped back, suggesting Annarummo conduct his own structural evaluation.
“It’s not my job to go do it,” Annarummo replied.
The shouting match subsided after commission chairman Gardner Palmer intervened.
The historic property, known as the old Reynolds family farmhouse, is owned by Division Street Properties LLC, which bought the two-acre parcel in 2005 for $655,000. Richard Fryburg is the listed manager of the limited liability corporation.
The current assessed value for the building and property is $224,400.
Reiner said the Planning Commission gave Fryburg permission to build a seven-unit subdivision on the property in 2006 with the expressed caveat that the Reynolds farmhouse be preserved. Since that time, the building has sat boarded up and no improvement work has been done.
Petrucci, who built the South County Commons in South Kingstown, is looking to purchase the property and build two affordable homes and five other market-rate homes that he would sell for about $500,000 each.
The majority of the commission said they could not allow the Reynolds farmhouse to be demolished and let the approved development plan move forward. Palmer suggested that Petrucci and Carr come back with a new development application rather than try to build under the currently approved agreement.
“It’s up to us to decide what we want to do at this point,” said Matthew Callaghan, the lawyer representing Carr and Petrucci.