PAWTUCKET – City Council’s real estate subcommittee is set to consider a proposed buy and sell contract that would see the town sell Morley Field in Woodlawn to a private developer for $ 550,000.
As The Breeze previously reported, JK Equities LLC is looking to purchase the property at 94 Moshassuck St. located adjacent to the former Microfibers site at 1 Moshassuck St. to add it to its redevelopment as a modern distribution center. .
A draft agreement on the agenda for this Thursday, July 22, negotiated between the city and JK Equities, provides for the sale of the city’s 5-acre property to JK Equities for $ 550,000, and the buyer would pay. also to the city certain costs associated with the relocation of the existing public recreational facilities to another location. These costs are estimated at $ 1.5 million, but are subject to good faith negotiations by the parties during a period of investigation.
Deputy Planning Director Jay Rosa said in a letter to the board that planners had no objections to the proposed sale and its terms.
âSeveral alternative properties are being assessed for their viability to develop an alternative public recreation facility if this proposal to acquire Morley Field goes ahead,â he wrote. âConsideration of acquisition costs, site design potential, location and public access are all important criteria in this assessment process. “
Rosa said initial conversations have taken place with owners of potential replacement recreation properties as part of a due diligence process.
“The city’s overall goal, in coordination with JK Equities, is to establish improved public recreation equipment that exceeds the minimum replacement requirements set by (the National Park Service and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management),” did he declare.
Dylan Zelazo, chief of staff to Mayor Donald Grebien, said on Monday that the city’s goal is still to maintain as much recreational space as possible in each neighborhood, and officials are looking “first and foremost” for properties which would keep the new creative space. “Close” to what is now Morley Field.
As reported earlier this month, given that the sports facility built in the 1970s is a designated public recreation facility and partially funded by a grant from the National Park Service, it is limited to recreational use only unless The town does follow a strict recreation conversion process run by state and federal agencies to create replacement recreation equipment for the community that is of equal or greater size and of equal or greater value to Morley Field.
Under federal regulations, the new field could not be developed on property the city already owns, even though it is land that has already been developed into something else and could be demolished.
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Zelazo said this week that the city’s main goal is not to make a profit from the sale, but to ensure that residents, especially young people, have high-quality recreational facilities. This objective is even more important than the objective of creating quality economic development and creating jobs as the JK Equities proposal does. Zelazo said the city will not cut corners to make a profit, but will “do the good of the residents first.”