NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 25, 2013

Still no takers for MBTA land

(Continued)

The city is attempting to reach 10 percent, a figure that state officials encourage and that would help the city in future bids for state funding of various community projects.

Five separate parcels on Boston Way are for sale, but only about 5.2 acres of the total can be developed due to wetlands issues.

The prime part of the usable acreage would be the first parking lot on the western extremity.

Parts of wild acreage on the other side of Boston Way could be built upon, but state officials said that developers should embark on due diligence with environmental experts to determine just how much land near the wetlands could be used.

Several structures in the vicinity would not be part of a purchase price, Winter said.

One is a building off Boston Road that currently houses an emergency-medical service company. Its owner is reportedly open to selling, at a desired price of about $2 million, it was said.

Nor is another structure, the large empty “train station” in a parking lot off Boston Way, part of the bidding process.

State and city officials say they have the intention of improving this notably vacant building, but no specifics were given.

Winter and Port said that one variable in the bidding process is that the developer’s plans would have to coincide with a municipal ordinance that would govern the development of this acreage.

The council has not finalized such an ordinance, and several developers said that much “conversation” would have to take place before serious bids could be made.

Representatives from local development companies including L.D. Russo, Stratford Realty, Green & Co. and MINCO Corp. attended the session.

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