145-year-old landmark house seeks buyer

MARIETTA – It’s been six years since the Bosworth-Biszantz home at 316 Third St. in Marietta was purchased by Bosworth Partners LLC in an effort to preserve the now 145-year-old structure.

The 4,600-square-foot house, originally built in 1868 by Marietta-area merchant Martin Pomeroy Wells, is still for sale, and is being marketed nationally, according to agent Tania Moore with Re/Max Properties of the Ohio Valley in Parkersburg.

“We’ve had at least three out-of-town buyers looking at the property within the last couple of months – two of those were interested in opening a tea or coffee house business,” she said. “They were considering living on the second floor and operating a tea or coffee shop on the ground floor level.”

In 2007 Bosworth Partners bought the home from the Marietta Chamber of Commerce for $150,000. The chamber had purchased the property from the city of Marietta in 1983, and had located offices there for more than 20 years before moving to its current location in the Riverview Building on Front Street.

“Under our original purchase agreement the city had first right of refusal if we ever sold the property,” said Charlotte Keim, chamber president and CEO.

The city had considered building a new justice center on the Bosworth-Biszantz site, but by 2007 the former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services building on the corner of Third and Butler streets had been selected for renovation into the new municipal court facilities.

After some discussion the city finally gave up its first right of refusal which paved the way for the Bosworth Partners to buy the property from the chamber.

Dave Haney, who was a spokesman for the partners group at the time, said their main concern was that the city would eventually tear down the historic structure and turn the property into a parking lot.

The home has not been occupied since Bosworth Partners made the purchase, although it was almost immediately placed on the market.

“When it first hit the market there were several interested people who called us, asking about the property,” Keim said. “The only deterrent at that time was access to the parking lot from the alley behind the building.”

The city eventually granted Bosworth Partners an easement that runs from the alley to the parking lot immediately behind the house.

“It’s a beautiful building that just needs a little tender loving care,” Keim said, adding that the three-story structure had plenty of room for the chamber as well as the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau at one time.

“But when the CVB moved out the house had twice as much space as the chamber would need, so we decided to move to the Riverview Building,” she said.

Promanco Property Management and Real Estate Development, owned by local businessman John Lehman, is the primary partner in the Bosworth group.

Promanco vice president and general manager Rick Coley said the company has kept the interior of the home in good repair.

“We’re keeping it in a ready state,” he said. “Right now the interior is set up for office space, just as the chamber left it, but with three floors and a basement it could easily become a bed and breakfast or other business.”

Coley added the facility is also eligible for federal and state historic tax credits that could be used for any upgrades to the property.

Moore said the asking price for the home is $249,000.

“It’s a great location and is very structurally sound and well preserved,” she said. “It would accommodate multiple uses, including residential. And a retail business could move right in.”