Ice House – the deal that fell through

There is no mention of it in today’s N&R story headlined “Who pulled the plug on the ice house“, but a big part of what thwarted previous plans to demolish the old building and build 24 new condos in its place might have been the purchase price offered by developer Kevin Jones: $80,000 $150,000 (ed. note: Schlosser fact checked my a** via email, and I am damn grateful for it).  We bought the property in its original configuration for $300,000.

The city’s aggressive real estate firm of Engineering and Inspections were laboring under instructions from higher-up to only entertain offers that are within 10% of the questionably appraised value of $298,000.

As Jim Schlosser’s article explains, once the Colonial Ice House is demolished the railroad will likely enforce its right-of-way requirements and deny any new construction within its easement boundary.  As it currently stands, the Ice House’s east wall literally supports the tracks as a bulkhead.  If that building is demolished, the allowable and buildable footprint of any new structure will be severely reduced.

In addition, if the building is demolished, the current structure’s footprint will have to either be ’capped’ with concrete/pavement or undergo expensive remediation due to identified site contaminations.  Keep this in mind as well… if the site becomes a parking lot, as currently planned, the city will forego any property tax revenue for the foreseeable future.  If the building is restored, it gets placed back on the tax rolls.

There is a meeting today between the party with the $300,000 offer and a business-savvy member of our City Council.  We’ll see how it goes.

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