The Falmouth Select Board approved a lease of the historic Emerald House to the Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Society at its meeting on Monday, February 22.
“I think it is a great fit for the house, and I move we approve the lease,” board member Douglas H. Jones said
The residential zoning limits of the Emerald House confine its use to philanthropic, as a library or as a museum. The request for proposal issued by the town gave first priority to uses that connect with the Portuguese immigrant heritage and the heritage of Portuguese-American farming on the property.
The Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Society was the only organization to respond to the RFP.
The five-year lease starts at $0 for the first two years. The lease increases to $2,000 in year three, then increases by $1,000 annually, capping at $4,000 in the fifth year. The town has the option to extend the lease for three additional five-year terms. If renewed, the lease would remain at $4,000 annually.
Acquired by the town in 1995, the Emerald House at 67 Davisville Road has been vacant since the Falmouth Service Center moved its Hand-in-hand Thrift Shop to Sandwich Road, East Falmouth, in 2018.
The lease relates to the house itself, the adjacent parking area and the detached garage, but not the entire parcel.
“There are a lot of potential activities that can go on on this parcel, which is quite large and diverse in the way that it is laid out,” chairwoman Megan E. English Braga said. “We already have Farming Falmouth doing the community garden there, we’ve had talk about the all-inclusive playground, and there has been discussion about some component of affordable housing in the future. I don’t want folks to think this particular lease precludes or stops our discussion about all those other pieces.”