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Who Wants This Brookfield Home — Free

Condo developers are offering historic home to anyone willing to move it.

As the developers began the process on one of the first major developments proposed for Brookfield’s Town Center District (TCD) — a 72-unit condominium complex on Laurel Hill Road — they were presented with a dilemma: two potentially historic homes and only room to preserve one. The other they are giving away — free.

According to Roberto Arista, a principle and co-founder of Massachusetts developers Dakota Partners, 40 Laurel Hill Road, which houses a few local businesses and a residential apartment, will be moved further up the street, near where a house and barn at 64 Laurel Hill Road sit now. The barn at 64 Laurel Hill is being moved by the current property owners but the house, built in 1811, is up for grabs.

“It was clear from the very beginning in meeting with the zoning boards that these houses were important,” Arista said, however, due to costs and space restrictions, they were only able to save one. “We chose 40 since it seemed to have more historic significance.”

(The commercial tenants plan to stay in 40 Laurel Hill, according to Arista, making the project one of the first mixed-use developments in the TCD, as well.)

Though not able to save 64 Laurel Hill on the current property, Dakota Partners has offered to give away the house for free to anyone able to remove it from the property.

“The house is offered to anybody to take and the hope is somebody comes and takes it in a few months,” before plans are finalized and construction begins in late spring, early summer, Arista said. “If nobody wants the house, then we’ll offer the parts; if nobody wants the parts, then we’ll have to tear it down.”

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One of the commercial tenants at 40 Laurel Hill, architect Jacqueline Salame, is also the chair of the Historic District Commission and coordinating the effort to save 64 Laurel Hill.

Salame said she has successfully transplanted four historic Brookfield homes in the past and has begun the process by advertising in the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation news bulletin and nominating the house for the state register of historic homes. Being on the register will allow for the possibility of state grants, however those are only available to non-profits or municipalities.

The house was originally built in 1811, according to Salame, and has been occupied since. Except for a few minor additions, “the main, original house hasn’t been altered that much,” she said, though, other than that, “we don’t have a ton of info” on the house’s history.

Though there isn’t a lot of information about the house, Salame said the age and style make it a likely candidate for the register.

Anyone who is interested can apply to take the home (call Salame at Tour De Force Designs: 203-775-2538), so long as they can demonstrate the ability to safely move and preserve it.

Interested persons should “have somebody in the building industry with experience with historic structures and how to take them apart and rebuild them,” Salame said. If the new owners aren’t able to preserve the historic nature of the building, “It would defeat the purpose,” she said.

“Ideally we’d like it to stay local but that doesn’t always happen,” she added, though they will give “first right of refusal to someone in Brookfield.”

In her experience, Salame said dismantling the house should not cost much more than $20,000, however moving expenses will depend on the distance.

“If you buy a piece of land and build a foundation, this could be a reasonably priced house for a homeowner,” Arista suggested, so long as the move wasn’t too far.

“40 is a more prominent house but 64 is a very nice house and it’s been functioning for over 200 years,” Salame said.

Steven DeVaux November 19, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Benefiting the consumer is a lot different that benefiting the local economy as is clearly evidenced now in Brookfield day-by-day.
paul gonzales December 05, 2012 at 10:23 PM
STEVEN I HAVE ALWAYS SAID IT SHOULD BE CALLED BROOKFIELD CORNERS .HAS A RING TO IT DONT YOU THINK.= AS FAR AS YOUR COMMENT= I BELIEVE IT WAS A JONI MITCHELL SONG CALLED PAVE PARADISE PUT UP A PARKING LOT
paul gonzales December 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM
READING ALL YOUR COMMENTS YOU ALL SOUND LIKE A BUNCH BRATS ITS LIKE BEING BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL.= WHAT THIS TOWN NEEDS IS TONY SAPRANO AS SELECTMAN AN NOOKIE THOMPSON AS SECOND SELECTMAN AM THROUGH IN DON IMUS IN THE MIX A
jamrsr December 06, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Paul - using all caps is like shouting. Take off your cap lock please.
paul gonzales December 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
you no jamrsr for a town that claims to have an annual income of $108.000=I AM SHOUTING- .just look at theses comments here on the patch. there is a anger brewing in this great land i am deeply concerned, if a town of so called intelligent people who make $108.000 sounds like a bunch of children there trouble here in river city
Steven DeVaux December 08, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Brookfield needs low income apartments for all the minimum wage retail workers in the big box stores it's approving and overseeing being built. They sure won't afford those $500,000+ homes for sale...then again it doesn't appear others can either with the high property taxes added on. What a quandry they are finding themselves in and after January 1st it's going to get a lot worse starting with the increase in social security taxes for everyone with or without Congressional action on the fiscal cliff.
Andrew Turkenkopf December 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
S D is just fun to rile up; Since nothing he says is consistent or makes sense anyhow. My actions have always been to prove that point. And I see other people feel the same/shame.
Steven DeVaux December 08, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The Legacy - Big Box Bill
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Ummmmm.....Andrew??? Let me help you: The house in question and the new development SD is referring to are nowhere near the gas stations, first of all. The Four Corners is an AREA--not just the spot of four gas stations. Perhaps you need to clarify your comments, Andrew--because you make absolutely no point in reference to either the article or SD's comment. Brookfield is well known for having false starts and failed starts in development along the Federal Road corridor--there are many examples--in addition to also have a ton of empty commercial properties all up and down the corridor. The real estate agents love the commissions, the town loves extra revenue to pad bloated government--but the reality is that holes in the ground and empty store fronts do nothing to create jobs, beautify what was once a quaint and lovely small town with a rural flavor, and take away from the character of the area in general. It is not just about the gas stations--much more to the blight and ugliness and bad decisions and illicit motives that 4 gas stations. Take a drive, Andrew. Open your eyes a bit more....
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 05:56 AM
Exactly, Melissa. The fact that the first (and only) thing done with this project and all this money is to build condos and special housing says it all--government wants more money and more taxpayers to fleece--with the help of real estate powers that are desperate after the past several years..... This has virtually nothing to do with the apparently bogus questionnaire that was put out to Brookfield residents....very little so far, at least. And that is from someone who knows it is a long-term process. But let's ram in a bunch of condominiums first....what will be next, a big box store????? LOL ;)
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Condos, apartments--whatever. The LAST THING in the world Brookfield needs is apartments in the Federal Road corridor. What the heck is wrong with the thinking here--WAKE UP!!!!!
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 05:59 AM
EXACTLY, Charmarie. In the long run, this is DESTRUCTIVE to Brookfield and it's character and all the good things here....
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Thank you, Mary Sophia--could not have said it better myself. If the immediate area of the Four Corners was done right, it would do fine attracting local weekend, evening and summer business. They will ruin it, along with the town.... But if you increase the population enough and create enough issues and havoc, then you can bring back the town manager issue into the mess created--maybe that is one of their goals????? [SIC]
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:09 AM
@ sock puppet First--how could anyone be "against" large retailers in Brookfield--been down Federal Road lately, sockie? How's the traffic down there in the afternoon? Pleasant place to go to shop and run errands, right? But, bottom line--it is a done deal. And the empty storefronts are all over the place. And the business closings. But there is the place for large retail, sockie--the Federal Road menagerie--NOT in the Four Corners. The Four Corners is better suited for small retailers now....maybe? It is ok to be against large retail--it is a FACT what it looks like and what it does locally--again, take a good look at Federal Road. We cannot really do much about that now but make the best of it, no? What does that have to do with: 1. Why we need to pack apartments and condos into the Four Corners? 2. Why we can't want small business in the Four Corners and Brookfield--done right??
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:17 AM
I could not agree more, Rosemarie and Dale. Well said--it is obvious to anyone who wants to look that is the road that a Brookfield cabal (real estate/developers - liberal/democrats - education dollars foaming-at-the-mouthers - grow governmenters - short-sighted dreamers) is pulling us down. Bye, bye Brookfield. And the rationale they give are always vague platitudes, empty government promises, throwing money at things, and screaming about "making better" things that are already doing very well, thank you--like we hear about the schools constantly...well, the schools are doing fine--we do not need any of this baloney to improve one of the biggest drawing cards here--the schools. Increasing the populations will undermine the schools in the long run. The real, illicit reason why the schools need more and more money is to pay past bloated contracts and benefits and pensions and increases to staff and that whole package that is largely unnecessary--it is smoke, mirrors, and growing government, pure and simple.
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:22 AM
No, Andrew...you are inaccurate and argue "black and white" on everything you touch--as per usual! Here is the definition: 1 -: a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live 2 -: a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure 3 - a. : an isolated group b. : a situation that resembles a ghetto especially in conferring inferior status or limiting opportunity The Corbin's are referring to the "3b" definition--what that sort of development eventually results in--again, open your eyes and LOOK at Federal Road. You just do not get it, my poor Andrew.....do you?
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Yes, Kelley Anne. Stop blatant and superficial name calling and stereotypes and bring some experience, some facts, some reality, and some specifics into the issue please.
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:27 AM
You have to understand that Brian and Andrew ONLY understand a simple-minded, one dimensional use of ghetto--very limiting and obstructive to true discussion. The term "ghetto" has had many and diverse uses over the course of history--not just the modern one. Any decent and honest person understands the point that the Corbin's were making--and that is all that is important. But, when you actually have no facts, no specifics, no reality, guys--I guess it is then important to try to nit-pick, misinterpret, and bog down the debate with moot points or bogus points. Get a life, guys.
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Exactly, Bob. Go anywhere in the state, in fact, and look at high density housing developments--does not matter if they are apartments or condos or town houses or gated small-house communities. Just go look--look at them and the neighborhoods around them. But if the point of the Four Corners development is to bring the blight of Federal Road all the way up to the New Milford Town line, then packing in a bunch or apartment and condo developments is a GREAT way to accomplish that (and ruin an area near the historic district at the same time!!!) Heyyyy!!!! Great idea! Not....
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:34 AM
That comment helped a lot...how old are some of you..or how mature?? Very curious--and that is a QUESTION, not a statement....
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Brookfield's median income is the important figure--and it is not $108,000! That figure is a joke...for Davidson or the government locally to let that figure slip into the local media articles and coverage is...that is shameful....
Ryen December 09, 2012 at 06:37 AM
No one living in an apartment at Laurel Hill around the corner from a bunch of gas stations and a hole in the ground and brownfield sites and other eyesores is going to be earning $108,000 a year....I promise you.... Try half that if you are lucky....
paul gonzales December 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
i just got home from shopping its becoming a real chore latley . i saw a couple of traffic accidents. 4 near miss ones an a bunch of nasty drivers. in the parking lot two guys where about to ponce on this elderly guy- do not no why ? but he stood his ground an i helped him an the punks left, my point is the people in power here in this town= better be aware whats happening around them. this area is being slowly raped for commercial greed the real estate people an investors who do not give a rats butt about a community. they give capitalism a bad word an name = shame on them. they just about destroyed the south side now there working on the north side;[ brookfield corners]= brookfield was once a nice community.its become a bed room town an a stop off point. remember-qualty is far better than quantity
paul gonzales December 09, 2012 at 11:08 PM
just for your information that house in question was moved from the quarry area some 40 years ago to make room for the by pass. lets just get it over with an dump 100 billion lbs of concrete on the brook field corners an be done with it
Steven DeVaux December 10, 2012 at 02:26 AM
It's all a cash flow salvage operation hoping apartment real estate values increase in the next 5 years. Did you see the apartment on Forty Acre Mountain Road? Sandy? Apartments bring a revolving door of people looking for services at the cheapest possible rent.
Steven DeVaux December 10, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Local media articles and coverage are simply gratius advertising for real estate developers and paid politicians in Brookfield.
Steven DeVaux December 10, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Next it will be "If you can't afford the rent get out of town."
Steven DeVaux December 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
That's why they call him Big Daddy Warbucks Bill
Steven DeVaux December 10, 2012 at 02:36 AM
So where are all the marked crosswalks, sidewalks and victorian street lamps on the SOUTH END of Federal Road. Are there marked crosswalks? Is Southern Federal Road pedestrian friendly for shoppers?
Ralston Pruitt December 11, 2012 at 01:44 AM
for mr gonzales it's Joni Mitchell's - Big Yellow Taxi

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