New Chatham Committee to Begin Discussion on Eldredge Property Future Uses

CHATHAM – Formal discussions begin tonight in Chatham on what to do with the Eldredge Garage property on Main Street being purchased by the town.

The new Eldredge Garage Property Planning Committee will meet at 6 p.m. at the town annex to begin brainstorming ideas on developing the 1.4 acre parcel.

Town meeting voters overwhelmingly approved $2.5 million for the purchase of the property in January and Selectmen approved the purchase in August.

“There’s just going to be so many different opinions on what to use it for an so that’s why we want to solicit ideas and find out, and ultimately, come up with a recommendation of what is the best use,” said Brad Schiff, the committee chairman.

Ideas already being floating include additional parking, retail space, affordable housing, land conservation and recreational uses, or a combination.

The committee will reach out to other town committees, residents and other stakeholders to gather input on possible development of the property.

Selectmen will make the final decision on what to do with the property after the committee provides a recommendation.

Thursday’s meeting is open to the public and will also be televised on cable channel 18 in Chatham.

Other appointees to the committee are Chatham Clothing Bar owner Sandy Wycoff; Chatham Jewelers’ Scott Hamiliton; resident John Kaar; Frank Messina, the historical commission chairman; Winnie Lear, an Old Village resident; and the executive director of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce Lisa Franz.

The nine-member committee will also include Selectmen Dean Nicastro and Shareen Davis.

A group of citizens and businesses facilitated the deal for the town to purchase the land from the Eldredge family.

Environmental testing on the site was conducted during last winter as the property once housed a gas and service station.

A barn on the property was torn down earlier this year, which was a condition of the purchase by the town.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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