[Editor’s Note: A note on Board of Finance Jan. 17 agenda has been corrected.]
Calling it a “strategic” property for the town, the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of an agreement to purchase a .15-acre property downtown for about $1 million.
Municipal bodies including the Board of Finance and Town Council also must sign off of the town’s acquisition of 28 Grove St.
As reported last month, the selectmen had discussed the potential purchase in executive session.
According to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, the property—which includes a 1900-built house— is “a strategic property” in that it backs up to the Lumberyard Lot.
“The idea here is to acquire this property and maintain it as a rental property with the idea conceivably in the future it’s going to be a key part of any redevelopment of the Lumberyard parking lot,” Moynihan said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “There’s no immediate plans for that but there have been discussions with folks.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who those people are or what type of redevelopment Moynihan envisions at the Lumberyard—for example, a parking deck.
“We have been keeping our eye on this house for many years and it’s the only property that would give another access point to that property and we believe we can acquire it and do some level of improvements to allow it to be used as a rental property and cover the cost of carry,” he said.
Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of a final purchase-and-sale agreement of $1,054,775. Included in that figure is $100,000 for capital improvements.
In response to a question from Corbet, Moynihan said there currently is a renter in the house and “some level of repairs” needed, though it likely will not amount to $100,000 of work.
“We got a credit toward a roof replacement on the negotiation but it’s in basically livable condition,” Moynihan said. “But we can probably get double the rent if we do some improvements that have not been done for many years. And while we are authorizing $100,000 we are not likely to spend much of that to make it continue to be rentable, but those decisions are going to be discussed by the Board of Finance in their approval process. And we are working on ideas. There’s also a possibility there are businesses around it that are interested in using the property for parking. We will look at the highest and best use for the property as a rental property.”
The item was on the Board of Finance agenda for Jan. 17, though not on the published agenda of the Town Council this month.
Under state law, the Planning & Zoning Commission also would be required to make a referral prior to acquiring the property.