NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 18, 2014

Prominent Port land sells for $1M

10.75-acre property eyed for development

BY DYKE HENDRICKSON
STAFF WRITER

---- — NEWBURYPORT -— A commercial parcel at 251 Low St. that held the former Woodman Farmstand has been sold to developers for $1 million, according to county real-estate records.

The buyer of the 10.75 acre property was Low Street Redevelopment, LLC., based in Georgetown. The parcel is one of the largest undeveloped parcels in the city, located in a section of the city where new development plans have been active in recent years.

Sellers were Donna Millen and Kristen Millen, in trust for the Millen Family Trust, with a stated address of 79 Storey Ave.

The farmland property is valued at $346,300. The breakdown, according to real-estate records, is as follows: $197,100 in land and $149,200 in value for the building.

Much of Newburyport’s privately-owned land has been developed. The 50 or so acres of farmland owned by the Woodman family has come up on the market in recent years; It represents one of the last remaining large, privately-owned parcels of open land in Newburyport.

The property had been part of the Woodman farm, owned by Eleanor and Irving Woodman until 2000.

In recent years a farmstand had stood on the parcel, but merchants who follow the local economy said it did not thrive. It is located across the street from the shopping center that holds Kmart, Shaw’s Supermarket and other venues.

Real-estate operatives familiar with the sale say that the principals of the Low Street Redevelopment Corp. include Bernie Christopher, John Reppucci, Norino Mirra and Lou Minicucci. All are prominent local developers.

Christopher and Reppucci recently developed a large medical office building near the newly purchased parcel, close to the corner of Low Street and Storey Avenue. Minicucci, who owns the real estate firm Minco Corp., plans to develop 67 housing units on a 11-acre parcel next to the Newburyport commuter rail station.

The Woodman parcel also sits next to a 22-acre parcel that has been eyed for a 185-unit affordable housing complex. The city spent years fighting against the plan, but lost its case in 2011.

Nearby is another Woodman family parcel on which a CVS pharmacy had been proposed. Under the proposal, the city would rezone a piece of the land that borders on Storey Avenue, in exchange for the bulk of the 26 acres to be donated to the city. The project, which came before the City Council in 2012 and became a heated topic of debate, has stalled.

Principals have not revealed their intentions regarding the recently purchased property, according to those close to the sale.