Residents should approve Lambert Kay proposal

And so here we are again, after all these years, the town considering yet another proposal for the former Lambert Kay building, located at 32 Lake St.

Winsted residents have been through this before, over and over again so many times, with prospective suitors submitting proposals to repurpose the property.

And, over and over again for many years, residents and town officials had to deal with bitter disappointment due to the fact that each proposal fell through for various reasons.

The last proposal that fell through was the Arizona company XS4D who, back in June 2014, offered to purchase the building for $15,000 to create and manufacture The Transcender Therapeutic Gaming Surround Sound Reclining Chair.

A few minutes before the special town meeting for residents to vote on selling the property, the meeting was canceled and eventually the whole purchase fell through.

XS4D went out of business, and the world never got a chance to see what a Transcender Therapeutic Gaming Surround Sound Reclining Chair looked like.

There were other suitors over the years, including Christine Properties LLC of Thomaston in 2007 and Brooks Ventures LLC back in 2015.

Over and over again these proposals all fell through.

So what makes the current proposal made by Parker Benjamin of Unionville any different from the other proposals over the past 16 years?

First, the town actually did its due diligence this time around in investigating and researching both the company and its proposal.

Parker Benjamin’s proposal was submitted to the town on March 6.

At the time of submission, Town Manager Robert Geiger wisely told the Board of Selectmen that he wanted to take his time to thoroughly vet the bid before submitting it to the board.

The company submitted a 22-page proposal to the town that includes details of what it plans on doing with the building.

While it appears that the company is not planning on opening a manufacturing center to create something as exciting as a Transcender Therapeutic Gaming Surround Sound Reclining Chair, Parker Benjamin already got a huge head start in the project by signing up Little Red Barn Brewers.

To top it off, in the past the company has restored old mill buildings throughout the state, along with buildings throughout New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Florida.

With the extensive experience in redeveloping mill buildings, along with submitting a solid plan to the town for redeveloping Lambert Kay and already signing up the building’s first tenant, residents should have an easy decision in approving the sale of the building at a special town meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 20, at Town Hall at 7 p.m.

In previous editorials we have said that Lambert Kay is a symbol of blight, political indecision and failed ideas in Winsted.

It is now likely that Lambert Kay could become the symbol of Winsted’s renaissance.