PORTSMOUTH — A spokesman for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests said the group continues its due diligence on a pending deal that would save its historic Carey Cottage from demolition.

Jack Savage on Tuesday said while continuing with the demolition permit process, the Forest Society still has an agreement in principle for a long-term lease of the Carey Cottage by a family foundation that “would restore the building for appropriate nonprofit use that is complementary to purposes for which the Creek Farm property was conserved.”

“Due diligence is ongoing,” he said, adding he is “Still highly optimistic this will work.”

The society appeared before the city’s Planning Board June 27 in regard to its bid for a demolition-related permit. Forest Society attorney Elizabeth Boepple last month said it is "continuing with the demolition permit process.”

"That said,” she added, “the Forest Society also continues to be very optimistic about reaching terms with the potential tenant," she said.

The Forest Society in June announced it “reached an agreement in principle with a local family foundation” to lease the historic property. Savage said the family foundation, which will be named later, will pay to renovate the historic property at Creek Farm and Chinburg Properties will renovate it, including its Music Room. He said pending successful due diligence over the next 30 days, which would be mid-July, the foundation will enter a long-term lease for the property.