With a high bid of $600,000 for the former Buttonwoods Community Center and temporarily the City Hall Annex and sale of the former John Wickes School for $2.1 million, City Planner Tom Kratviz is …
With a high bid of $600,000 for the former Buttonwoods Community Center and temporarily the City Hall Annex and sale of the former John Wickes School for $2.1 million, City Planner Tom Kratviz is optimistic of attaining the $4 million projection for the sale of former school properties. Three properties remain to be advertised and sold: the former School Administration Building on Warwick Avenue, Randall Holden School in Hoxsie that currently houses some city offices and the former Aldrich Junior High School on Post Road.
Meanwhile, with the projected sale of the Buttonwoods property, plans are moving ahead for annex offices to relocate to the Saw Tooth building that -- at one time -- was part of the Apponaug Mill across from City Hall. Mayor Frank Picozzi said Tuesday moving containers will start arriving in Buttonwoods Aug. 25 with the opening of offices in the Saw Tooth starting on Sept. 2. Apart from a delay in the delivery of some file cabinets, the furniture for offices is onsite and phone and internet wiring is up.
“It’s really beautiful,” said Picozzi. He said work remains to be done to provide more parking. The city will occupy most of the first floor and just about all of the former mill building. AAA Northeast bought the property from the state with plans to renovate it as a service and call center. The pandemic forcing people to work from home changed that. AAA abandoned the call center plan and worked out a 15-year agreement with the city to lease the space at a considerable savings over demolishing the former City Annex behind City Hall and building a new one. The lease is renewable in five-year installments.
Closure of the former Wickes School property to Link Commercial Properties is expected to take place next week said Kravitz. Coincidently, he noted, Link submitted the second highest bid for Buttonwoods at $367,000. Shore Line Properties Inc. with the high bid for Buttonwoods was the second highest bidder on Wickes.
The Buttonwoods property consists of six lots with a total of 1.8 acres. The site is “split zoned” between Residential A-7 and general business.
Kravitz didn’t offer a preferred development for the site. From one vantage he said he “hates to see” the city give up commercial zoned strips, but understands the demand for housing. “Both residential and commercial would work,” he said.
Joseph Catelli of Shore Line was not available for comment.
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