Letter: Proposed leases represent great opportunity for the town

To the Editor:

I encourage Ridgefield voters to attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22 (7:30 p.m.) to vote “yes” on the two proposed leases to BassamFellows and ACT of CT.

Leasing the Philip Johnson building to BassamFellows represents a unique and extraordinary opportunity to save this important building — Philip Johnson’s first commercial project in his long and storied architectural career. The owners of BassamFellows live in a Philip Johnson-designed home, and possess a passion for the architecture that will ensure the building is properly restored without taxpayer funds. Their proposed use (as an office and showroom for their modernist furniture) will generate minimal traffic.

The lease to ACT of CT is equally important, as they will invest considerable funds into the Schlumberger auditorium to create a small professional theater on the site. The Broadway-experienced, equity professionals of ACT will produce limited-run theatrical productions — a great opportunity to add to and enhance Ridgefield’s thriving arts community.

Ridgefield will retain ownership of the buildings (including all of the improvements) and the land — a critically important aspect of these two leases. I will be voting yes on both.

Ellen Burns