September 6, 2008

Deal struck for Crowley site, but no deal on Scalia property

School officials have struck a deal to buy the former Crowley dealership on Pine Street for $2.1 million, insiders said Friday.

The price matches the higher of the two independent appraisals done for the city as part of the negotiations to purchase the property for one of the two 900-student schools that were given preliminary approval last year.

The deal also means that the Starlite Market and three Daley Street homes won’t be needed for the project, officials said, eliminating the possibility that the city would take them through eminent domain.

“That would be fantastic,” said Richard Morgan, a Daley Street homeowner who didn’t want to move out.

While the Forestville school site appears to be largely set, a deal for the Barlow Street sand pit eyed for the other school has proven more elusive.

Though appraisers set the value of the land at $1.5 million, Scalia Construction is asking for $3.5 million for the property, according to two sources said Friday.

That almost certainly means that the city has to seek to seize the land through eminent domain unless it opts to find another site, officials said.

The Press learned details of the negotiations from two confidential sources Friday.

Mayor Art Ward said he couldn’t confirm the numbers.

“I haven’t seen any documents. There’s different rumors floating around,” Ward said.

“My understanding is that negotiations are proceeding very well” on the Crowley property, the mayor said. “A deal looks pretty imminent,” Ward added.

He said he didn’t know for sure how much Crowley might get from the city.

As for the Scalia site, Ward said, “They’re not in agreement at that price.”

Ward said he is interested in exploring the possibility of building the west Bristol school on the former Roberts property instead, which the city already owns. It might take special legislation from the state to make it feasible.

He said he wants to explore the Roberts property alternative before turning to eminent domain to take the Scalia site.

Officials said they’re hoping for a much more solid picture of what will happen when the City Council and school building committee members meet Monday.

 “We’re coming to a time when we need to make a decision” on whether to build the new schools, remodel older ones or keep the status quo, Ward said.

He said he would like an analysis from the Board of Education of the cost of building new ones compared to renovating older ones – a study that hasn’t been done in nearly a decade.

Still, the mayor said, with luck “we can come to some resolve” at Monday’s meeting.

The Board of Education hopes to build the two schools for students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.

They would replace Memorial Boulevard Middle School and three aging primary schools O’Connell, Greene-Hills and Bingham.

The project has to be underway by June 13, 2010 or it won’t be eligible for state aid. The state has agreed to pay 73.9 percent of the project’s tab.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to know this!

Anonymous said...

WTF!!...and we wonder why the rich get richer as the poor get poorer

Anonymous said...

They have not done a cost analysis on renovating the older schools in over 10 years?!?! Ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

“My understanding is that negotiations are proceeding very well” on the Crowley property, the mayor said. “A deal looks pretty imminent,” Ward added.

What a weird statement - who is doing the negotiations if the mayor has given away his right, as chief negotiator for the city, to someone other than him? Guess he wants to be able to stay on the sidelines and see how the wind blows....

Anonymous said...

The mayor and his obsession with the roberts property should be named "the easy way out so i don't have to take a leadership positon on nuthin'.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ward may be appeasing all his older voters by promoting this Roberts Property as a site scenario but he is surely annoying another whole group of tax payers who have young kids and would like to see the rec area built and built soon.

Anonymous said...

Good job Mayor Ward, he got a very good deal for the property.

Anonymous said...

Both the Scalia property and the Roberts property are not good sites for replacing the schools being closed.

Carpenter's right, build it on the mall site if you're going to do it at all. We'll be sitting on that site for a long time and building a school there could possibly at least help us recoup some of the money we outlayed in its purchase.

If you build a school that has some scale and architectural interest it could make downtown more attractive to retail investment and renovations.

Anonymous said...

The Roberts property makes no sense for another school. K-8 across the street from a middle school. Why don't we bus the whole town up there. We can just take the firestone plant by eminent domain and put all of the students there, k - 12. That way everyone is bussed, treated equally and parents will be so much more invested b/c their children will be at the same school for 13 years. How wonderful that would be.

Anonymous said...

All you babies up on Chippens Hill just don't want the extra traffic in your HOOD!! Quit cryin

Anonymous said...

$2.1 mil for the Crowley toxic dump is a bargain? Give me a break. If the average taxpayer pays $3k in property taxes per year, that's like 700 tax payers tax bills for a year....just to buy that small piece of land?? Overpriced and greedy if you ask me. After all the business we have provided Ken Crowley over the years, he thanks us by moving his headquarters to Plainville and giving us the shaft on this lot. He should of donated it to the city...its the least he can do to show his thanks for our patronage. What a loser

Anonymous said...

If your not happy, Ken wants to "know about it", LOL. I wonder how he would feel if we call call him regarding this topic?? Oh and just so you know, Ken got a tax break when he moved his HQ to Plainville. I believe they only made him pay 80% of the assessed tax for the first 3 years...saving him 20% per year. And we wonder why businesses are leaving our town?

Anonymous said...

More on Ken's little car empire: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?dept_id=571441&newsid=19862230 And he can't give a few acres of land on a useless commercial piece of property to the town to use for our kids? Wow, pretty sad. The guy is old. You'd think he would want to give back to his community and leave his mark on history. Hopefully he has been saying his hail mary's and making large donations in the prayer box so he is saved from going to H-E double hockey sticks :)

Anonymous said...

Why would any of you really expect someone to "give" anything to the city? Do you really expect Crowley to give 2 mill out of his pocket just because? Most of you wouldnt give ten dollars never mind 2 mill. Stop being cry babies, I dont like the idea of giving Crowley 2mill for that crap piece of parcel but I certainly dont expect him to give it to the city. This city is going down hill. Two new schools, taxes are gonna jump. Thank God I'm moving.

Anonymous said...

If there hasn't been a "cost analysis" from architects and engineers skilled in rehabilitating and renovating older school buildings in the last 10 years, how does the BOE get away with recommending costly these costly new construction projects?

I hope the Mayor and Council are wise enough to seek out those who actually have successfully renovated older school buildings from the same era as Bristol's.


The BOE always uses (New England School Development Council--NESDC A group that always recommends new construction.
Not one architect among them!

Interesting that DRA achitects from Mass,(the group that BOE is using) actually has rehabilitated and renovated a few older school buildings in Mass! ( Tucker Elementary and Pierce Middle School)
Just wondering if they were ever ASKED by the BOE, to come up with a plan for Bristol's older school buildings.

After all, nobody is complaining about the looks or function of the Public Library these days, are they?

Maybe we should replace the BOE with the Library Board! At least they know what to do with an old building!

Anonymous said...

"This city is going down hill. Two new schools, taxes are gonna jump. Thank God I'm moving."

That's okay, don't worry about Bristol. With 2 new schools, we'll be attracting all kinds of young families to take your place, although I do agree...thank God you're moving.

Anonymous said...

The Forestville location is the most logical. Scalia and Roberts makes no sense at all. Time to start over on that one. The old mall site is making more sense since no one wants it and the town already owns it. They can divide it up for a school, more athletic fields, etc.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Ward and the good ole boys are at it again.

They sure get what they want, don't they?

Anonymous said...

The mall site is the best area. There is NO retail value to that location. A new school with a theater would be ideal.

I'm not in favor of new schools period. It's too bad the federal government has to wave a carrot in front of us.

But if it must happen, demolish Blvd school and build a new one in the site formerly known as "downtown".

Anonymous said...

No need for new schools. Look at Terryville, they finally built a new high school. It's got a smaller gym, no sidewalks, no new programs, and they're charging kids $50 to park their cars. Great. Look into renovating, like the more intelligent towns do.

Anonymous said...

They sure do get everything they, want.
No matter what.
The result: never ending tax increase, after tax increase.

Why should they do a cost analysis comparing renovation over new construction?
Just because it's logical and fiscally responsible prior to making a major decision that will affect everyones taxes?
Noooooooooooooo, let's not bother with THAT trivial stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned that the $35 million that is Bristol's share and will need to be bonded will actually result in educational program cut backs and larger classes to keep the budget from skyrocketing.

That would be a sad irony less educational opportunities but new buildings.

Anonymous said...

"Look into renovating, like the more intelligent towns do."

What like those backwords rednecks at Harvard, Yale, Avon Old Farms and countless other private schools, colleges and universities do? But they aren't public education experts are they?

Anonymous said...

Did Mayor Ward get a "good deal" on his new car from Crowley?

Anonymous said...

I think Minor and his buddies should get together again and petition for a public vote on new schools. I GUARANTEE the answer would be a resounding NO!! Renovate or deal with what we have.

Anonymous said...

10:16p.m. - even a moron such as you should be able to read car stickers and know the difference between "Papa's" and "Crowley's."

Anonymous said...

minor, buddies?....

Anonymous said...

There is an analysis of the cost of renovations vs. new construction and its even higher than new construction since these schools are so old, to bring them close to code will be astronomical.

Anonymous said...

With a deal made on the Crowley site for 2.1 million. I wonder what the Bugryn family is thinking.They stole our land for nothing and they don`t dare use eminet domain to build a school.uuummm, I wonder why.As if the people don`t know why.
I think we owe the Bugryn`s a few more bucks if we are paying per square foot.

Anonymous said...

The Scalia and the Roberts property are bad choices. I believe we should bring the school to the kids, not bring the kids to the school. Mall property would be my choice. I`m looking for a partner in starting a school bus company in Bristol. Every kid in town will have to be bused. Does the B.O.E. think about the outcome of one of their projects?

Anonymous said...

I'am a young family with with children and building these two new schools does nothing to keep me here. IF you think by spending millions of dollars is going to attract new young families you are slightly mis guided.

The only families that are going to be attracted to Bristol are welfare section 8 winners. Check the real estate market, see how many pages pop up of homes for sale in Bristol. It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

9:18

Maybe these houses are for sale because the owners are not satisfied with the school system and they can move out!