Fayville Hall to go back out to bid

Above: Town officials hope to snag a higher bid for the historic Fayvill Hall property than this spring’s RFP generated. (photo by Beth Melo)

The Board of Selectmen aren’t accepting the $5K bid on historic Fayville Hall.

Fayville Hall front view (photo by Beth Melo)As I shared in June, the sole response to the Town’s RFP for purchasing Fayville Hall was Bartolini Builder’s offer to preserve the structure and use it for affordable housing.

Given some of the proposal details, Selectmen asked the Planning Board and Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee to provide feedback. Having heard back from both, the board reviewed the offer at last week’s meeting. 

Southborough Wicked Local covered the discussion and decision:

The bid includes the hall, 42 Central St., valued at $346,600 and a parking lot, 40 Central St., valued at $172,500, according to town assessors records.

Town Administrator Mark Purple told selectmen Tuesday night that “there is no way” to meet the 120 days requirement to close on the property given the 13 conditions proposed in the bid. . .

Selectman Brian Shea said the town might end up with a less beneficial bid or no response at all if it goes out to bid again.

Several members thought the $5,000 was too low.

However, Selectman Brian Shifrin disagreed and thinks the bid was worth pursuing.

“The idea that you maintain the building, I think the value is not in maintaining the building,” he said. “If someone could buy it and build something there or even knock it down, then there is more value.”

Selectman Bonnie Phaneuf thinks another request for bids needs to go out. The town could look into having the Housing Authority buy it with state grants or work with a nonprofit like Habitat for Humanity, she said.

Purple said he’s heard from a few people who didn’t know about the bid being out.

“Maybe we didn’t do a good job marketing it,” he said. “There may be other ways to work with the Economic Development Commission to find other interested parties.”

You can read the full article here.

The Planning Board’s memo to selectmen showed general support for the concept of the proposed plan – excluding consideration of the financials. But it also indicated that a full review would take time: 

Their discussion focused on the affordable units proposition to which the Planning Board has requested additional opinion from Town Counsel. There was brief discussion of the monetary aspect and that it is not Planning Board jurisdiction as to the appropriateness of the price proposal. The four members (Morris, Jenks, Stein and Luttrell; Mills recused himself do to conflict of interest) did express general support for the Proposal to save this historic building in Fayville.

Upon additional feedback pending from Town Counsel, who further agreed to review the legal opinion requested in more depth then was allowed timewise initially, the next step for
the Planning Board is to fully review and discuss all the conditions of the Proposal. The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for July 23, 2018.

SHOPC’s memo showed that members (including Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf) also supported the project, but with the following conditions and concerns:

1. Concern that the price proposal of $5,000 is too low.
2. Concern that the 18-month time frame for permitting is too long.
3. Site must be able to support septic system for minimum of three affordable units.
4. Assurance that three affordable units will result at Fayville Hall in trade for the two affordable units at lla Bella Estates conditioned per the Special Permit for Flexible Major Residential Development dated July 18, 2006.
5. Ensure that the two affordable units required at Ila Bella Estates remain conditioned under the current approval until the three affordable units at Fayville Hall can be counted on Southborough’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).

You can read past coverage of the building and the Town’s efforts to sell here.

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