Lunenburg is being asked to further extend the schedule on a 10-year-old development deal for a project that has not started.
During a town council meeting April 13, civic politicians agreed to refer the request to the planning advisory committee for a public meeting to assess extending the starting timeline for the proposed Masons Beach Road development and recommend next steps to elected officials for consideration.
Lunenburg-based Stellar Investments, owned by Tim Reibling, filed the request to change wording in the contract between the company and town to expand the deal under the current terms for another 10 years.
Construction on the hotel, condo and apartment project never started after the deal was green-lit in April 2011.
Reibling's late parents, Susan and Guenther, championed the original project, called The Top, but circumstances impacted it getting off the ground.
The fallout of the 2008 global economic crisis and the subsequent rise of vacation rental platforms risked changing the logistics of the The Top. Reibling's parents died last summer.
"Before [Guenther]'s passing in July 2020 he expressed interest in focusing on this project as he recently sold his company in the United States and was ready to tackle this project with his sons in his retirement," Reibling said in written correspondence to the town.
"The estate believes there is a housing shortage in Lunenburg and elements of this project make sense to develop. It is our intention to continue to evaluate the feasibility of 'The Top' project proposed for Masons Beach as designed ..."
Reibling did not respond to an email sent by LighthouseNOW to the address provided in his correspondence to the town.
Stellar Investments proposed a 120-unit resort hotel complex, with an additional 60 condominium units and 30 apartments, at 101 Masons Beach Road on land overlooking Lunenburg.
When Guenther appeared in front of town council in 2010 to talk about the project, he said he planned to maintain the site's existing home as administrative offices and build the rest of the complex around it. At the time, he said the idea was to try to entice visitors to the town to stay longer during all times of the year.
"The challenge is to bring in small groups and conferences in the wintertime," Guenther explained, as quoted in LighthouseNOW in 2010. "I would like to get something done which the town, and everybody, can be proud of and which is really an asset to the town."
He also said he hoped a majority of residents would embrace his proposal, noting "if we do something, we either do it right or we don't do it at all."