79 Elm

Plywood sheets cover windows on the first floor of the building at 79 Elm St. in Lakeport, which is slated for demolition. The Laconia Heritage Commission gave the go-ahead last Wednesday to tear down the apartment building which was vacated last month. (Michael Mortensen/The Laconia Daily Sun photo)

LACONIA — A vacant Lakeport apartment building is expected to be torn down before the end of the month, now that the city’s Heritage Commission has approved the demolition.

The commission last Wednesday approved the permit to demolish the three-story building at 79 Elm St.

At the beginning of August the tenants in the 14 apartments were given notice they needed to vacate by the end of that month because building owner Scott Everett was planning to tear it down.

Everett, through various limited liability corporations, has purchased property in and around Lakeport Square as part of a major redevelopment of the area, including the restoration of the Lakeport Opera House on the square, and construction of a mixed-use, commercial-residential building at 41 Elm St.

Everett said he hasn't determined yet how the site will figure in to what he called a multi-phase redevelopment of Lakeport.

"We’re trying to raise the level of the water one stone at a time. We’re trying to create a terrific area there, everything will be new and improved," said Everett, adding that "multiple parties" have expressed interest in the site. "We are still examining all possibilities."

Before approving the demolition permit, members of the Heritage Commission noted how the 121-year-old building, though not particularly architecturally significant, had been a long-standing part of the Lakeport landscape, Planning Director Dean Trefethen said Thursday. However, he said that commission members noted the building was out of character with the area’s redevelopment.

Trefethen said he expected the building would be torn down within two weeks.

Paugus Fore I LLC bought the building and an adjacent property on Fore Street in June for $1 million.

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