Framingham's Addilson mansion sold for $155k at auction

May 19, 2011

Frank Ferrari sees potential in the charred black pile of debris that is the historic Addilson Belknap house.

The Framingham resident took a chance on his vision yesterday, buying the Waveney Road mansion from the town, "as is," for $155,000.

Ferrari outbid local contractor George Hayeck in an on-site property auction.

"It's a beautiful lot," said Ferrari, who owns Aquascape Pool Designs in Westborough.

He says he plans to knock down the heavily damaged 312-year-old house because "it's too far gone." He will then build a single-family home on the 1.65-acre lot.

The town went to land court last year to get the property deed. Former owner Wilbur Cook owed more than $100,000 in back taxes and interest.

Cook abandoned the 22-room, Greek revival-style home after a three-alarm fire in 2009 that investigators blamed on an electrical malfunction.

The auction was originally scheduled for last winter but was delayed by snow.

Ferrari was one of five qualified bidders who huddled around Shrewsbury auctioneer Paul Zekos yesterday afternoon at 35 Waveney Road.

With a nod of his head, Town Manager Julian Suso approved the sale to Ferrari after Hayeck, the only other person to bid, bowed out.

"I know the cost to rebuild and/or demolish," Hayeck said. "I had my number, and it went a little bit higher, and I just wasn't willing to (budge)."

The property is valued at $829,300.

Ferrari, who offered $10,000 down, agreed to pay the $155,000 bid amount plus a $7,500 special assessment and an 8 percent buyers premium of $12,400. That will cover professional advertising costs associated with the sale.

He also must immediately pay a pro forma tax, which means he will pay an early, $2,500 tax bill for fiscal 2012.

Ferrari must close on the property by June 17.

Peter Brown, the town's tax title attorney, said the town has reached its goal of getting the property back on the tax rolls.

"We're pleased with the outcome and very thankful," Suso said after the auction.

"This is a true opportunity to create something special at this location and make it a vibrant part of the community again," Zekos said.

Joe Delgizzi, who lives next door, watched the auction and said he looks forward to the mansion being razed.

"It's dangerous the way it is, and it's an eyesore," said Delgizzi, a Newton firefighter. "I wanted to make sure it was sold so we know something is going to be done."

The wooded lot is on the Southborough border. The mansion is on the Framingham side, and an old carriage house and another structure is in Southborough.

Ferrari said he plans to obtain building permits from the town and start work within 90 days. The mansion is now fenced off.

Once built, he plans to put the new house on the market.


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