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December 16, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, December 16, 2005

Not a forgotten treasure Not a forgotten treasure (December 16, 2005)

Council approves plan to save Villa Street house

By Jon Wiener

The city council unanimously approved a plan for a two-story, five-unit apartment complex at 902 Villa St. that will preserve the historic house on the lot.

The plan calls for variances from setbacks in exchange for the preservation of the existing building, home to House of Forgotten Treasures.

Council members did not miss the chance to gloat a little over what they say is a success story for last year's controversial historic preservation ordinance. Owner Tan Sung Lu is the only the second person to successfully apply for the exemptions offered under the voluntary law.

"I think it's wonderful that the house that created the ordinance is the first to take advantage of the benefits of the ordinance," said council member Mike Kasperzak.

Vice mayor Nick Galiotto recalled, "People said, 'You've just given the death knell to 902 Villa.'"

Architect Monique Wood said Lu looked at a number of different possible developments for the site, some of which included demolition of the building.

"We've gotten a really financially feasible project for him," she said, giving credit to the flexibility of the city's ordinance.

Wood said construction will not begin until at least a year from now.


E-mail Jon Wiener at [email protected]

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