WEYMOUTH – Next month will mark the fourth anniversary of the town’s purchase of the sprawling Emery family estate atop King Oak Hill, but the mansion that sits on it is in no shape for a party.
The home, built in 1903, is flecked with peeling white paint and needs major work before it can open for public use. And the town has yet to settle on a permanent plan for the 24-acres of neatly manicured, tree-lined grounds that surround it.
Now, frustration is growing among some town officials and residents who say it’s taken too long to come up with a way to turn the property into a venue for weddings and events that could generate revenue while keeping the land open to the public.
The town purchased the property, off Commercial Street near town hall, from the Emery family in 2011 for $1.9 million. The Emerys had owned it for nearly a century.
With the house locked up and with vehicle access to the grounds limited, residents aren’t getting their money’s worth so far, Town Council President Patrick O’Connor said.
“We have to come up with a consensus on Emery. We have to identify funding sources and move forward,” he said. “We’ve been standing still, as we do on far too many projects for far too long.”
The town council voted to authorize the purchase of the property in order to keep the swath of open space from being developed, and with hopes of finding a way to eventually turn a profit on it.