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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Letter: Kemper-Gunn move likely in fall

Published 11:59 am, Friday, May 16, 2014
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On behalf of the Kemper-Gunn Advisory Group, I'm pleased to report that we are much closer to making the relocation of the historic Kemper-Gunn House a reality. The proposal to move the handsome 1885 house from Church Lane (future site of the Bedford Square development) across the road to 35 Elm Street has so far proceeded successfully through town regulatory bodies, most recently the Planning & Zoning Commission. Now we are working with DC Kemper-Gunn LLC, the future owners of the house, to finalize the lease that will permit the house to be placed on town land, renovated to its former glory and rented as commercial space for small businesses. This lease will be reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission, Board of Finance and, finally, Board of Selectmen.

At every stage, public interest in and support for this project have been overwhelming, because it is a win/win for Westport: We save a structure that is part of the history and fabric of downtown Westport and we create a unique opportunity for a more diverse mix of businesses to locate downtown. And, because of the generosity of David Waldman and his DC Kemper-Gunn partners, we do all this with no financial risk to the town. If all goes according to plan, the Kemper-Gunn House will make the trip across Elm Street to its new home this fall. We'll be providing updates as to our progress, since, if you're like me, you can't wait to watch the move!

Helen Garten, selectman

Chairwoman, Kemper-Gunn Advisory Group