Applause broke out at the Central Roxborough Civic Association meeting on Thursday evening when Roger Ross — a lifelong Roxborough resident and new owner of 365 Green Lane — took to the floor.
The property, a historic Victorian home dating back to 1870, has been under neighborhood scrutiny since developer Todd Joseph purchased it in Dec. 2013 with the intention to raze the iconic home to make way for a multi-unit complex.
It was an all too familiar scenario for the Roxborough community after watching the Bunting House on the corner of Ridge and Roxborough Avenues be demolished in Dec. 2012 only to remain a vacant lot more than two years later.
As time wore on and attempts at negotiation with Joseph, who has been described as "difficult to work with," seemed fruitless, many feared the historic home on Green Lane would follow a similar fate.
But last month, word got out that the property was under new ownership. Ross, who owns a plumbing and heating company on Manayunk Avenue, purchased the property for $285,000.
Joseph, who originally purchased the home for $200,100 was initially asking $379,000 despite allowing the house to fall further into disrepair.
"Yes I am the one who just bought 365 Green Lane," said Ross in a letter of introduction to the CRCA. "This building has sentimental value to me. I took piano lessons here as a child; so did my brother William... I took on this project not necessarily to make money — I want to make my neighborhood a great place to live."
Ross went on to say he would be willing to present his plans to the community at a CRCA meeting.
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