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Can The Hardy-Pike House Be Saved?

The fate of the historic home is in doubt with a sale pending.

Occasionally, we'll hold a business story, if one of the subjects asks us to because things are in flux and a potential transaction is not a "done deal." Such was the case with the to the parent company of Ira Toyota.

In the meantime, the Lowell Sun published an article last week breaking news of the deal, which will not be finalized for another month.

However that article led to three questions from readers, wondering what the fate of the historic Hardy-Pike House would be, not that the property was being purchased by the dealership.

Here is just one of those questions.

Question: I read that the old Novel Cafe property is being sold to a car dealership. Is the building going to be torn down or what?

Answer: Yes. Marc Ginsburg presently owns the building known as the Hardy-Pike House which, most recently, was home to "A Novel Cafe," a coffee house and bookstore run by Leisa Ginsburg.

Ginsburg is close to closing a deal with Group 1, a corporation based in Houston, Texas, which is the parent company of Ira Toyota, located next door to the Hardy-Pike property.

Because the deal won't be finalized until July, no one is talking about the corporation's plans are for the property, but there are three possibilities.

1. Ira Toyota uses the building for company offices -- This is possible. The building is in exceptional condition after Ginsburg put hundreds of thousands of dollars into renovation. Still, Car dealerships tend to like modern and flashy, not rustic. So, while possible, it's unlikely.

2. Group 1 sells the building and it is relocated -- This would be nice. Again, it's a wonderful historic building with a great history. But moving a building is a pricey proposition and it's questionable whether or not the buyer or seller would be willing to make that investment.

3. Group 1 tears down the building Ira Toyota expands into the vacant lot -- Smart money says this is the most likely outcome because it is the most cost effective for Group 1. But don't expect the town, and in particular the Historic Commission, to let the building be razed without a fight. the commission would put a nine-month hold on any demolition proposal with the hopes of working out another solution.

Wildcard -- said something near the end of the last Board of Selectmen's meeting that was almost a throwaway line but should be noted. Montuori floated the idea of using the Hardy Pike House, instead of , as a temporary home to town offices for two years, while the is completed.

"It's a longshot, but we're looking into it," said Montuori.

The building is well suited for town offices. It has plenty of parking and is handicapped accessible. If the town is able to negotiate that deal, it would buy a two-year window to try and figure out another solution for saving the building.

A T-Townie July 07, 2012 at 08:52 PM
WAAAAAAAA! If you don't like it here, move! We have just given our thoughts, and since you don't like it, you start crying! You are really annoyed that we, as a town, stick up for Marc! I'll just call him Marc from now on here, because "Mr. Ginsburg" annoys YOU! I HAVE known Marc, personally, for years. I KNOW what he does for the town. If you don't like reading what we (us nasty people) have to say, be gone!
A T-Townie July 07, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Janellen, You continue to whine about how everyone is 'attacking' you. Grow thicker skin! You attacked everyone here, including Marc Ginsburg, whom you have probably NEVER met. "Socially inept miserable misfits'? You looking in a mirror? Billvill was right about 'the pot calling the kettle black'... FYI, with a 143 IQ, I'm highly doubting you could match wits with me in a REAL conversation. As soon as YOU get your MENSA card, you get back to me.
Bob Stratton July 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I would like to see a writers workshop center in there - without changing anything on the outside and probably very little on the inside. Bob
SD From T-Bury September 18, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Any news about the house?
Bill Gilman September 18, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Two comments have been removed at he request of the person who made them.

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