SHERBURNE – Last Friday, a real estate representative for Stewart’s Shops met with Sherburne officials and Jim Webb, owner of the Sherburne Inn and the adjacent building, formerly the Big M supermarket, to discuss Stewart’s potential purchase of the two properties. The two buildings have been vacant for some time now and have both fallen into varying degrees of disrepair.
If Stewart’s does purchase the properties, the company intends to demolish them and build a convenience store and gas station at the location. A group of concerned citizens, who take exception to the erection of a convenience store in the center of town, are attempting to block the acquisition and say they have until Friday to place a $150,000, nonrefundable, deposit on the building. Though members of the opposition bloc concede that the corner has been an eyesore for far too long and note that some people believe any change would be an improvement, they still feel the construction of a convenience store at the heart of Sherburne would not be a positive move. Instead, they would prefer to see the inn either restored or the construction of something aesthetically pleasing in its stead. The grassroots group is reportedly trying to gather money, using Facebook and word of mouth. Those involved in the effort were reluctant to be quoted for this article.
The last business to set up shop in the Sherburne Inn foreclosed in 2001 and represented the third business in a relatively short span of time to do so. Estimates for the inn’s restoration range from $1.4 to $3 million.