, Newburyport, MA

March 21, 2013

Strategically sited building up for sale

Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT - A building that occupies a key parcel on the city’s waterfront has been listed for sale.

The structure at 92R Merrimac St. is owned by Robert Richard. The land is adjacent to the parking lot belonging to Michael’s Harborside restaurant, and it is surrounded by property owned by Newburyport Development Co., a company owned by developer Steve Karp.

Karp is the largest landowner in Newburyport, with many of his holdings clustered around the downtown and the waterfront.

Built in about 1920, for years the building served as an auto repair shop. For the past decade, it has been leased by Newburyport Development Co. for storage.

Richard said that officials of Newburyport Development made an offer to buy it but Richard said it was too low. He declined to say what his asking price is.

The Richard building is located within a collection of parcels called “Waterfront West” that stretches from the Black Cow Restaurant to the Route 1 bridge. The city created a special zoning district in this area several years ago to encourage the construction of a retail and residential development that would mimic the historic downtown.

Karp owns nearly all of the lots in Waterfront West -- the Richard building being one of the notable exceptions. Though Karp has talked in generalities about developing the area, he has not yet submitted a plan.

The parcel covers about 20,800 square feet. About 3,800 feet is described as “living area,” indicating interior space. It is valued at $309,200, according to city records.