MERIDEN — The Masonic temple on East Main Street is listed for sale and the lodges that occupy the space are trying to relocate to a smaller location in the city.
Tom Gondek, president of the Meriden Masonic Temple Foundation, said although the 20,250-square-foot temple fulfills the needs of Center Lodge 97 and Meridian Lodge 77, membership can no longer sustain the cost of occupying the space.
“It can house a lot of people. The problem is a lot of people aren’t coming,” Gondek said. “The donations that we use to support the building aren’t nearly enough... It takes about $120,000 a year to run that building and we are probably in a shortfall of $35,000 to $40,000 a year.”
The three-story building was constructed in 1927 specifically for use as a Masonic Temple. It is listed for $720,000, by O, R & L Commercial LLC represented by agent Toby Brimberg.
Located at 112 East Main St., the historic commercial building has several large meeting rooms and multiple kitchens.
The property also contains a 70-space parking lot in an adjoining parcel. It is in close proximity to the new Amtrak Train station and walking distance from Town Hall, Meriden Superior Court and the Meriden Public Library.
The building has a market value of $414,600, according to the city assessor’s office. That figure is based upon the 2011 valuation and will likely go up when properties are reassessed next year.
Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski said the city has yet to identify a buyer for the property, which has been on the market since July.
As is, the space could be used as a religious facility, community meeting space or gallery, Burdelski said, but it could be renovated to offer more options.
“Somebody with a creative skill set could turn that into something very unique,” Burdelski said. “It could be anything really, housing, commercial.”
The list price, however, could pose an issue.
“Are they going to have trouble? I think commercial buildings in the downtown at that price, the right buyer would have to be found for sure,” Burdelski said. “A church bought a similarly configured building up on Center Street, but that was much lower priced.”
Gondek said the groups hope to find a new location in Meriden once the building is sold.