The future of Leeland Mansion was debated last night during the meeting on Conshohocken’s Borough Council. The debate began when Council member Jayne Ferguson (5th Ward) stated that she believed that the Borough should not retain the property and spend the money necessary to rehabilitate the building, nor act as a business owner by operating a business there (there has been a push to consider operating a bed & breakfast). Flanagan shared that she felt the best way to preserve the property is to allow a private developer to purchase the property.
Council member Anita Barton (3rd Ward), who has been the main proponent of the Borough retaining the property, replied that she believed that the Borough should keep the property and use it for its residents, especially seniors. She detailed the historic nature of the building and how she doesn’t want to see things such as the woodwork lost if a private developer were to purchase the building. Council member Bob Stokely (6th Ward) was in agreement with this sentiment.
These two opposing positions led to a discussion about doing a survey of Conshohocken’s residents on what they wanted to see happen with the property. Solicitor Michael Savona also suggested that to accomplish the objectives of both sides (sell the building, but make sure its historic nature is maintained) that the Borough could issue a RFP that would contain conditions that would have to be followed by anyone who purchased or leased the property.
Commercial realtor Gary DeMedio, who heads the Conshohocken Economic Development Corporation, spoke and stated that the Borough is a much sought after location and that there is already interest in Leeland Mansion from prospective buyers. He went on to say that due to the nature of the property, the corporate desire to be in Conshohocken and the existing interest in the property, the Borough is in a strong position to seek a buyer that shares the Borough’s view of the property.
Once the survey is available we will share it with you.