Reed Mansion owner bouncing back -- again

By Beth A. Birmingham | Sep 13, 2017
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Developer Dan Goldenson stands next to the "For sale" sign he recently placed at the former Reed Mansion site.

Waldoboro — For one local, self-made entrepreneur, bouncing back from a costly investment tragedy was a struggle. But having to endure a second disaster in his lifetime has been even more challenging.

"I haven't let these episodes spoil my life," developer Dan Goldenson said.

He was first victimized indirectly in 2008, when Bernard Madoff lost approximately $50 billion of his investors' money in a Ponzi scheme that landed him in jail for 150 years.

Although he lost millions of dollars and is still in the settlement process, Goldenson said he and wife Suzanne were just beginning to put that behind them when tragedy number two happened -- the 10-alarm fire that reduced Reed Mansion on Glidden Street to rubble April 2.

"The most immediate impact was, it caused us to rearrange a lot of things in our lives," Goldenson said, adding that after the Madoff event, they started focusing on more economic development projects with properties important in the community.

To help address a need in Damariscotta, he has been working on adding eight motel units to the Hilltop Stop, which he owns. He has also added a dining room to the corner variety in Waldoboro -- now known as McGreevy's Corner Store on Bremen Road.

In August 2015, Goldenson began refurbishing the 1820 Reed Mansion.

"We spent 18 months refurbishing it, until the devastating fire of April 2," he said. "It was a terrible shock to us, because of its historical nature."

Goldenson said although the mansion was well insured, "We regard the destruction as a huge loss to the community. There is no way to put a value on that," he said.

The Goldensons have decided not to replace the mansion with a modern version, but instead are hoping to find a developer interested in building some sort of housing or senior condominiums on the two-acre parcel of land.

"A project on this land could be done in stages," he said. "It would be nice to see something like that -- it [the property] has a lot of uses."

"This property has had many lives," Goldenson noted. It served 150 years as a home, before being reconfigured into apartments, then eventually becoming the bed-and-breakfast he had envisioned -- that was set to open Memorial Day weekend of this year.

Goldenson recently put a "For sale" sign on the property in hopes of attracting some interested developers.

And he even managed to save a lot of the granite from the mansion's foundation -- hoping the next owner might be able to incorporate it into the project.

Although the two episodes were very upsetting, especially during retirement years, Goldenson said, "At my age, I'm still interested in looking forward instead of back."

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

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