By Lisa Loomis

A proposal to convert the eight-unit Wait Farm Inn into two apartments, a showroom and an office was presented to the Waitsfield Development Review Board by the Gumbo Group LLC last week.

Gumbo Group representatives Gary Johannsen and Bramwell Lepp of Houseneeds will occupy the commercial space. Houseneeds is currently located in the Mad River Business Park in Irasville.


The DRB heard an application for a change of use. Lepp told the board that the business is an internet company and needs a place to show products. Currently, they have a showroom in Waterbury and a property in Middlesex that could be used as a warehouse and office but not a showroom. 

Lepp said that they plan to have a showroom of 800 square feet as they have two to three people per day on average visit, and another 1,600 square feet of office space. The showroom will eventually be replaced by office space as they phase out their products. All the front office employees will be at the new location, but they will still keep the warehouse at the Mad River Business Park. 


There will be two one-bedroom apartments, each 700 square feet, on the top floor. Additionally, the basement will house a 1,400-square-foot office space and a 200-square-foot boiler room. Lepp and Johannsen told the board that they plan to install solar panels on the roof to display their solar products.

DRB member Mike Kingsbury suggested that the Mad River Path could link up to this parcel and Johannsen said this would not affect their business other than to provide more pedestrian visibility.

The DRB closed the public hearing and will issue a written decision within 30 days.