Lambert Kay: the art of not giving up

After many years of plans that never came to fruition, vigorous debates and arguments about a direction for the property, along with critical editorials from this newspaper, the former Lambert Kay property was sold to Parker Benjamin Real Estate Services in Unionville by the town on Thursday, July 20 at a special town meeting.

While there were not too many residents at the special town meeting, they all seemed to be very enthusiastic about the company’s plans for the building. 

The company will become the owner of a building that, over the past 16 years, has been vacant and fallen into disrepair since its purchase by the town for $1.

After the way previous plans fell apart, Town Manager Robert Geiger should be applauded for thoroughly vetting the company’s plans to the point where he visited buildings that the company previously rehabilitated.

While it may have added a few more months to scheduling a town meeting, it was good to know that the company’s work was for real and that the town did not have another XS4D situation on its hands.

Little Red Barn Brewers should also be applauded for stepping up to the plate to become the first tenants of the building.

Despite being currently based in Barkhamsted, the company has shown tremendous interest in Winsted over the past year with their presence at various events.

They will be a very welcome addition to Winsted when their brewery opens in 2018.

Finally, residents who showed up at the meeting to show their support should all be applauded.

At the meeting, there was no sign of political or personal grudges or negativity whatsoever, despite the way the XS4D deal fell apart in 2014.

It’s obvious that residents want the town to move forward in a positive direction.

Moving forward in a positive direction means not giving up, despite any and all odds that one, or a town, may face.

There were so many obstacles and difficulties on the road to the special town meeting on July 20, including the remediation of the property, marketing the property and trying to stay positive as the property deteriorated year after year.

In an editorial last year The Winsted Journal called the Lambert Kay property “a sad symbol of Winsted’s past.”

We now hope that the property will become a positive symbol of Winsted’s future.

It all took time, heartbreak and plenty of effort to get to this point.

In the end, as the decision on July 20 shows, not giving up despite all the odds does pay off.