Josiah Smith Tavern Reuse

Josiah Smith Tavern (JST)

The firm of Baker Wohl Architects was selected by the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) to provide design services for the JST re-use project.  The first step for the architect was to complete a thorough evaluation and assessment of the JST’s condition and advise the PBC on what it would take to get the entire building/complex up to code and construct the project (see the preferred reuse section below).

Members of the PBC believe they have been provided with a realistic estimate of what the cost of the project will be, which could end up costing between $10 and $11 million dollars.  This estimate includes hard construction costs (est. $8.7 mil), professional services, or “soft” costs, such as architectural and engineering fees, and other normal contingencies.

Report and Construction Estimate

The $10 - 11 million estimate does not include the build-out of the barn as a restaurant. The restaurateur will be responsible for bringing that portion of the complex up to restaurant-ready code. It is important to understand that the JST would need to be brought up to code for any public use, not just the preferred reuse.

The architect's 253-page February 2018 report can be viewed in its entirety below:

Additional Design Funds

The funds for the design and engineering fees by Baker Wohl for the adaptive reuse of the JST was approved by the 2017 Annual Town Meeting. That amount was $630,000 from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds; however, an additional $200,000 in CPA funds is being requested at 2018 Annual Town Meeting in order to complete the design work, produce bid documents, and secure construction bids.

Construction funds have not yet been requested. If the design funds are approved by the 2018 Annual Town Meeting, it will allow the project to move towards the construction fund request.

Rumor vs. Fact

Bringing this historic building back to public use is not a simple project and it has many intricacies, along with a long history. There are many misconceptions surrounding this project, so the proponents have outlined and answered the most common questions, which can be read on this web page.

Preferred Reuse

In 2016, an RFP for adaptive reuse of the building was issued and the Selectmen designated the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern, a non-profit entity, as the preferred proponent for the reuse of the Tavern, Barn, and Connector.  

The proposal by the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern provides for a 105-seat, "farm to table" restaurant in the Barn, Connector and original Tap Room, with subsidized rental space for Weston Historical Society, Weston Forest & Trail Association and the Women's Community League of Weston. The second floor ballroom of the Tavern will be available for community and tenant use and landscaping around the buildings will provide a natural garden setting with walking paths and benches.

Ownership of the building will remain with the Town and both taxes and rent will be paid by the restaurant operator:

Stay Informed - Follow Progress

The project is currently with the PBC. Residents can subscribe to receive notification of when meeting agendas and minutes are posted if they would like to follow the progress of this project. 

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