One item out of last Thursday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting should make preservationists happy. The Town received a bid to purchase Fayville Hall. The bidder plans to preserve the historic building’s facade.
The bid is contingent on relocating two Affordable Units from a previously approved development that has long been on hold.
At last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Administrator Mark Purple shared that only one bid was received for the Town’s RFF for Fayville Hall. The bid was from Bartolini Builders. The bid comes with several contingencies that have to be met.
Not many details were shared during the BOS discussion. Fortunately, they were included in the meeting packet. That includes the developer’s low asking price of $5,000.
The low offer wasn’t remarked on by selectmen. In the past, the board has been eager to rid themselves of expenses and liabilities related to maintaining the site. The board failed to get Town Meeting voter approval to dispose of the property in 2016.
In 2017, voters approved the request, but only after the board promised to make preservation a consideration. That was one of the stated factors for judging bids in the RFP the board approved in January.
On Thursday, Selectman Brian Shifrin quipped that they received more bids than he expected.
As for the developer’s interest in Fayville Hall, the bid indicates it includes a personal desire to preserve the property. John Bartolini, Jr. signed the application which included the following:
The Bartolini’s grew up in Fayville. My father’s Uncle died of the influenza in this building, my parents had their wedding reception in this building, my grandparents held their 50th anniversary in this building and my brother’s and I attended events put on by the Town as part of our childhood in Fayville
For those of you unfamiliar with the building’s history – the almost 100 year old building was the community center for the village, hosted WWI war relief efforts, and served as a health center with tent hospital to handle the 1918 influenza epidemic. You can read more about that here.
Before signing off on the bid, selectmen will ask the Planning Board and SHOPC (Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee) to give their feedback on the viability of some contingencies. Two of specific interest are plans to use the building for three Affordable Housing units and the request that two of those be relocated from a previously approved subdivision.
The units would be relocated from Ila Bella Estates (initially known as Rossi Estates). The subdivision planned for the intersection of Breakneck Hill and Mt. Vickery Roads was approved to consist of 10 single family homes and a duplex for the 2 affordable units.
It’s a project that has been around without much apparent progress since 2006. In 2009, Susan posted about multiple project extensions and an expected delay. The project was again approved in 2015 and Planning announced that construction was beginning. But the devloper came back to Planning this past October to request an extension for the construction deadline. The Planning Board granted an extension to October 2019.
For more details on the developer’s plans and contingencies, see the bid paperwork from the BOS packet last week, here.
Updated (6/13/18 9:05 am): Southborough Wicked Local also covered this story. Initially, I thought it was a brief blurb without much detail. But, it turns out that if you scroll down past the break in the story, there’s a lot of good detail there. You can read more about the value of the property, the history, and the developer’s bid here.