By Carol McCracken (Post # 786)
Late this afternoon the Community Development Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the city council approve a proposed purchase and sale agreement with The Federated Companies at its first meeting in June. The proposed agreement is for Federated to purchase 7 lots along Somerset Street for a mixed-use-development project.
The property which has been on the market for about two years came to the attention of The Federated Co. when it purchased the student housing on Marginal Way, Bayside Village Apartments in December of last year. Since then, Federated has gotten to know the area and became interested in the lots, said Greg Mitchell, director of the city’s economic development office this afternoon.
Mitchell told the Committee that the purchase price for 3.25 acres is $2,275,000 less the 8% comercial broker commission and the cost of environmental liability insurance. This mixed use project includes commercial and/or retail space on the first floor, 500 upper floor parking spaces and market rate rental units. The parking garage will be paid for by a $9M loan from HUD. One of the more popular provisions of the proposed agreement is structured so that Federated will have to start building within two years or risk having to resell the property back to the city at the same price. “I’m so glad we do not have to be concerned about this turning into a land-bank,” said Councilor Cheryl Leeman, chair of the CDC Committee – meaning Federated can not hold onto the property and then sell it in the future for a profit.
This agreement was seen as a major step in fulfilling the vision the city wants for the Bayside area. Ron Spinella, former president of the Bayside Neighborhood Assocation, said: “This is a very exciting development. It looks really good, but of course the devil is in the details.”