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Massachusetts historic building's future unclear

The historic Essex House in Holyoke is facing foreclosure as its current and former owners are delinquent in paying a substantial amount of taxes. A tax lien was previously placed on the property to no avail. The property is also in a deteriorating state, causing many city officials to be concerned about its unclear future and contemplating methods that would establish a long-term plan for the building.

The property currently has an outstanding tax bill of more than $76,780, stemming from taxes that accrued between 2008 and 2013. A tax collector filed a tax taking for the property in 2011 when over $7,000 was due in unpaid taxes. The property was then eligible for a foreclosure by the city during the same time period, but many properties were also subject to foreclosure at the time, so action was delayed on the Essex House. Finally, the property was officially approved for foreclosure in September 2012 with a complaint to foreclose the lien in November 2012. 

The property has noticeable damage and deterioration associated with it. It is missing a portion of its masonry. A neighbor says that she has noticed falling bricks from the property for the last several months that is getting worse with time. Structural engineers are being consulted regarding the property in order to develop a strategy to stabilize the deteriorating property. After a plan is put in place, a contractor will be contacted in order to further stabilize the building. The current owners of the property purchased the building at the beginning of 2010 when it had an existing unpaid tax bill. The building previously had other tax issues, including a tax title foreclosure and tax lien.

When individuals owe delinquent taxes, they may consult a tax attorney. This individual may be able to inform clients of their rights and options to pay taxes and retain their property.

Source: Masslive.com, "Holyoke officials mull future of Essex House; over $75,000 owed in taxes," Greg Saulmon, April 9, 2013 

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