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Claremont's Oscar Brown Block to be auctioned Feb. 11

Union Leader Correspondent

January 05. 2014 8:05PM

CLAREMONT — The historic and once blighted Oscar Brown Block at the corner of Pleasant Street and Opera House Square is being auctioned off Feb. 11.

The vintage Civil War 11,000-square-foot building was successfully rehabilitated through a partnership between Main Street Claremont and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation with support from several agencies, including the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, N.H. Business Finance Authority and the Claremont Development Authority.

“It’s been a good project for the city,” said City Manager Guy Santagate. “It was just too complicated. From the financial side, it was kind of messy, and from the development side, it’s been great.”

The residential apartments in the 6,000-square-foot upstairs space have been rented, and the downstairs space has been successfully been rented to businesses including the successful New Socials Bar and Grill, Santagate said.

The volunteer-run Main Street Claremont started the project as part of its effort to revitalize downtown, but struggled to complete the work, Santagate said.

Monadnock Economic Development purchased the building from Main Street Claremont in 2007. Then the Claremont Development Authority stepped in with a $450,000 loan to complete the $2.5 million financing needed for the project after is had stalled.

Maine-based Coastal Enterprises Inc. also invested.

There is a chance the Claremont Development Authority would owe some interest charges, between $3,000 and $4,000, when it sells, Santagate said, but that is the extent of financial hit the CDA would take.

Business Claremont