NORWAY — Two proposals have been received to reuse the former L.M. Longley & Son Hardware on Main Street.

Norway Town Manager David Holt said he has received proposals from two “local” area parties and is in the process of reviewing the plans with fellow trustee Tom Denison. Holt and Denison are the two trustees of the Higgins Crooker Trust ,which own the building at 419 Main St. that was built in 1867.

“Tom and I just need to make a decision,” said Holt. The decision is expected by the end of the week.

While the details of the proposals are not being released at this time, Holt said neither one involves continuation of the building as a hardware store, but they do propose using the building largely as commercial with a residential component. The proposals not only include what the reuse would be but also what problems the new owner would expect to encounter, Holt said.

“I feel confident both would be good stewards of the building,” he said of either proposal.

A hardware store has been on the site since 1844. L.M. Longley came to the store in 1902 to open it as a hardware and plumbing store. It remained in his family until last month.

Holt said he and Denison will review both proposals and either accept one or negotiate with both. If they are dissatisfied with either proposal, the property could be put out to bid.

The Higgins-Crooker Trust was established in 1923 as a fund to benefit the “worthy, aged people of Norway, Maine if needy.” It consists of the L.M. Longley & Son building at 419 Main St.; the 100 Aker Wood building, 413 Main St.; a house at 20 Deering St. and about $20,000 in several bank certificate of deposits.

Holt also noted that the Higgins-Crooker trustees and owners of 100 Aker Wood have reached a “handshake agreement” to buy that building. Additionally, closing on the third property owned by the trust on Deering Street may happen as soon as Monday. The building is being purchased by former Norway Library Director Ann Seikman.

Holt said the goal of the trustees is to dissolve the trust and have some remaining assets that will be given to the town in the form of a charity for the benefit of the “worthy, aged people of Norway, Maine,” according to the terms of the trust.

At that time, Holt and Denison will be relieved of their obligation to the trust and it will be dissolved.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: