Smith property under agreement, again

It’s been quiet on the Smith property front since the Bolton Crossing deal fell apart, but there appears to be a new party taking a run at it now.

You may have noticed this sign at the garage. As it indicates, the property is under agreement again. The agreement was signed on September 17. A knowledgeable source revealed that the terms call for a closing by December, 2011, giving the prospective owner more than a year to secure preliminaries. The source also suggested that this new buyer is interested in retail business development and will seek a zoning change. In light of this, I would think that they or their representatives will want to begin to make themselves and their plans known to town boards and offices soon. Stay tuned.

In related news, an attorney representing the JLS Family Trust, the current owner of the Smith property, halted potential Board of Health condemnation proceedings on the property when he announced at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening that the remaining tenant will be vacating within the next 30 days. An enforcement agreement that targeted two failed septic systems on the property has expired. That agreement had a generous five-year term and the property owner had made no effort to remedy the situation over that period. The Board had been considering taking action to condemn the property. The property will now be secured and will remain vacant until it is redeveloped or the owner replaces the failed systems.

—Roland

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4 Responses to Smith property under agreement, again

  1. Valerie M. Brown says:

    Here we go again! I have many questions. What is the asking price. What real estate firm is handling the sale. Who are the buyers or is it just a “dummy corporation” whereby it is almost impossible to trace. What does “under agreement” mean. Usually when one sells a house you need an inspection, septic system in good working order, etc. Who votes on a change from residential to commercial property. Voters at Town Meeting or is it just “rubber stamped” by town officials. When will preliminary plans for development be available to the people and voters of Bolton. Also, when these plans become public is this also contingent on a vote at Town Meeting. As we all should know, voters at Town Meeting are usually a very small percentage of Bolton voters who are eligible to vote. Many times special interest rules the day and not always for the best interests of the town in general.

    • boltoncenter says:

      I personally don’t know details of the current “agreement” or who the prospective buyer is. I would guess that the potential buyer has agreed to purchase under certain conditions that were negotiated with the seller. So the agreement is probably really an exclusive option to purchase for a period of time (December 2011) for agreed upon terms and with some conditions and contingencies (probably contingent on zoning change, cleanup cost data, ability to secure tenants, etc.). I would guess that it is a developer and it sounds like a developer with an interest in developing the property for commercial retail use. The property does most likely require a zoning change in order to accommodate a primarily commercial use (it has reverted to residential zoning), and this does require a town meeting vote (2/3rd affirmative). Also it is also uncertain (at least to me) whether a single parcel can be rezoned (spot zoning). It needs to be proven to be in the public interest to do so.
      -Roland

  2. chuck says:

    Exactly what does secure the property mean? Will the vacant buildings be boarded up to prevent vandals from doing damage inside of them or even worse set one of the buildings on fire. Will any clean up ever begin? Will another year will go by with the Center looking so terrible. How much longer will the peole who live in the Center of town let this go on? It is time for the town of Bolton to insure that the owner lives up to responsibilities established by law and town bylaw.

  3. John Karlon says:

    This should be interesting. I will be hearing all about this from my perches on Planning Board and the Economic Development Committee, so I have to keep an open mind about whatever plans are presented, but my present inclination is what was outlined by Roland a couple posts back, essentially keep the downtown residential, and push business to cluster in the existing business zoned area around 495. However, I do believe that it is possible, however unlikely it may be, that the developer can come in with a great proposal that would be perfect for the Smith property, in which case I would support it. I’m glad Roland has this blog up because it will be great to have a dialogue with the residents as we go through this process together.

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