Tuesday, July 1, 2008

City (property) for Sale

From the 6/30/08 Herald News

RFP 09-01

RFP TITLE: Sale of City Owned Real Estate

The City of Fall River through the Purchasing
Department is offering a city owned parcel of
land for sale, at the following location:
84 Danforth Street. Proposal packages may be
obtained at the Purchasing Department, One
Government Center, Fall River, MA 02722 between
9:00 a.m. and 5:00p.m. each business day until
the scheduled proposal submission date and time.

Proposals will be opened and publicly read in
the Purchasing Department, Room 237, One
Government Center at 11:00a.m. on Monday, July
28, 2008.

The City of Fall River reserves the right to
waive any informalities or irregularities in the
proposals received or to reject any and all
proposals, or to accept proposals deemed to be
in the best interest of the City of Fall River.

The Mayor and the City Council will make

the award.


84 Danforth Street is about to become a hot piece of property Click here for a map or Click here to do a Fall River property search. It is located very close to Route 79 and the downtown waterfront. The proposed waterfront revitalization includes plans that would add tremendous value to 84 Danforth by possibly taking down Route 79 and replacing it with a boulevard. The purpose of the project would be to connect downtown to the waterfront and in doing so this city property for sale would likely have direct access to the waterfront. According to a Herald News article, the project anticipates shops, office space, a marina, a restaurant and future rail transportation station. What a great spot to own property!

So which F.O.B. (friend of Bob) will beat out the competition and get to purchase this property? The Request for Proposal retains the right of the City to "reject any and all proposals." Will Bob and his 6 city councilors reject perfectly good proposals so an F.O.B. can buy the property? It will be interesting to find out.

The city website lists Requests for Proposals on their main page but this Request was suspiciously absent from the list.

My personal guess is that a Karam (but that seems too obvious) will have the winning proposal -Any other guesses/predictions?


UPDATE 7/5/08

This RFP has now been added to the City Website


Anonymous said...

Funny we have been waiting to see what contract is bid on to fix the audit for 1.2 million- I'm sure it will be awarded the same way private industry does it- 3 bids and you take the best combination of service and price! Also this area was mentioned last week when Fiola was on wsar in regards to developing the route 79 area- coincidence? We so need a citizens group to take the information uncovered to the next level.

Anonymous said...

The property would be a nice buy.....BUT.... it's a small block from one of the most crime ridden public housing projects in the City of Fall River.

That neighborhood is no slice of pie.

The potential of a revitalization is to distant to offset any possible increase in property value.

shamrock said...

I work one block from heritage heights. Perhaps I am more brave than I think but I have parked my car there for three years and walk to and from it alone, sometimes after dark. Nothing has ever happened to me or my car.

When I drive by heritage heights after work I see people walking their dogs and kids playing basketball. I don't mean to idealize it because I am aware of some crimes that have happened there in the past but I don't think I would ever be afraid to buy property there....or walk in that neighborhood after dark!

Lefty said...

Sorry Shamrock, I don't see this as the great spot to own that you do.

1. The Route 79 project is probably a decade from being realized.

2. The raid road tracks would keep this area from having direct access to the waterfront

3. Doctor Street probably keeps this property from having unobstructed water views

4. This building's 'investment potential' is dependent on the rest of the area realizing that same potential too.

I too am very familiar with this neighborhood. It's an unrealized gem. Near the water with commanding views of Battleship Cove(why does that sound familiar?!) There are some houses that are begging to be restored to their 19th century splendor. But, for this area (the lower, lower, Highlands?) to really sparkle the whole neighborhood would have to undergo a revitalization.

You fear that Bob is going to award this to one of his dear friends i.e. supporters. I fear that the city will make its usual mistake and award this to someone looking to maximize their investment and care nothing for the city.

In my opinion the best use of this property would be to award it to someone who was going to owner occupy, or perhaps to someone who had plans to restore the building and convert it into condo units.

shamrock said...

I hope I am wrong. I hope this property goes to someone who will use it to its greatest potential regardless of whether the bidder donated to Bob's campaign.

Maybe not this property, but I feel that Bob's supporters are about to get some rewards in the shape of waterfront area contracts and land.

Anonymous said...

I agree it is not the best area to buy property but what a gem and "steal" it will be if the area is suddenly revitalized or maybe another wattuppa heights will go there .Unfortunately, we have to suspect the administration in every move now-there is always a favor to pay back. Also the speed with which this administration pushes their agenda through the city council makes you wonder what they will do next . So order before midnight!!

General said...

A little side note. I myself would not be interested in buying it for this reason.

As Lefty said the revitilization is years away.

If the city actually moves forward on their plan with the waterfront, it will probably be, as they say in Fall River, a half-ass approach.

With all their talk about the waterfron they are still missing a main ingrediant for success.

Anonymous said...

Hi General,

What do you think is the main ingredient for success at the waterfrong?

General said...

To Anom:

Right now the city is talking about expanding the amount of land that currently exists along the waterfront. This is one step that we must take. I have always said that the worst thing that this city allowed was not route 195 cutting through the middle of the city, but allowing route 79 to be built. You never - never - cut off your waterfront. That was a huge blunder that must be corrected.

With that said, we still are facing a major hurdle when it comes to our waterfront and that is what do we do with the new available land once it is created. That discussion needs to begin RIGHT NOW!

Yes, I know that people have said we will be able to locate a hotel, a public marina, small shops or restaurants. This sounds good but here is where we are missing a main ingredient.

Many moons ago I did a study on numerous cities that had increased the amount of tourists visiting these cities. Each had the same thing, but in various ways. They each had developed good, strong, attractions. These attractions were usually located away from each other but close enough that many of the tourist could easily walk to them.

These attractions caused "foot traffic".

Example: Salem Mass. Have you been there lately? If not go there.

Yes, they are known for the Salem Witch Trials, that is what brings in a lot of tourists, but they have so much else to offer.

They have really worked on increasing their attractions to other items. I was immensely impressed with the Peabody Museum. This museum has a great deal of oriental artifacts due to the China trade that Salem took part in.

There waterfront is nice with various areas to sit and have a drink. They have connected all their attractions in a way that it is easy for a tourist to know where he or she is going.

This foot traffic then spills over to the T-shirt shops, the ice cream parlors, etc etc.

Now here we are expanding our waterfront....ok, what do we do??

How do we make a connection?

What do we have to offer??

Picture yourself a tourist from North Carolina, you get off of the Battleship, it is 1pm - now what do you do? Where to go.

I propose that we work closely with organizations such as the Historical Society, the Lizzie Borden House, etc and open some sort of annex. Make Fall River history come alive.

Why not re-enact the Battle of Fall River. That small group of men fought back a much larger force of British regulars.

In closing, we need to make sure that the businesses we are talking about will have the foot traffic necessary to survive. For that we really need to get going.

I could go on, but I do not want to bore you people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks General,

I get the picture!


Anonymous said...


Below is a story about New Bedford. They have many festivals and art/music ventures throughout the year. Many are sponsored by their office of economic development and chamber of commerce.

This is something that can be done NOW at a fairly low cost- we
can't wait YEARS for the big plans the current administration,
FROED, and Chamber have in mind that may never come to fruition.
We need to get people to the waterfront and as seen on other
threads what has come of the question on heritage park ?

Another question, please note the reference to the volunteer below is
this the same Peter Kortright the New Bedford resident that is the CEO/President of FALL RIVER CHAMBER? If so, it's nice if you volunteer but did you forget what city pays you?


Anonymous said...

Aesthetics play an important role in any successful commercial/community venture. A room in a hotel overlooking the river wouldn't be so bad, but what if your room faces Durfee Street and the hills above it? The same goes for a marina. The view from Fall River to the water is pretty nice, but the view from the water to Fall River is downright depressing!

Much of Fall River's beautiful architecture has been covered in sheet vinyl, its trees have been removed, and its gardens have been paved.

Most opportunities for residential development have resulted in many pastel-colored homes that look like they were designed by Rubbermaid. The only natural element is usually an unstained pressure treated deck, but that's usually accompanied by lovely plastic lattice (for balance, I guess). They're usually crammed onto lots surrounded by a chain-link fence and red mulch. And don't forget the vertical blinds, lawn ornaments and windsocks. Yep--makes me want to move there.

Sorry for being such a snot, but I remember Fall River being somewhat pleasant. It's now like a multi-level trailer park--sans wheels.

I'm sure I sound like such a jerk, but I fear that commercial development will go the way of past residential development. I would truly like to see Fall River live up to what little is left of its potential, and restore what little is left of its dignity (another topic).

Anyway, Fall River needs extensive cosmetic surgery before it can turn itself around. And having seen what the mayor did to his properties, I highly doubt he has what it takes to lead the makeover.

Anonymous said...

We should take a look at pictures of his properties - we could always use the pictures as what not to do!!