EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 25, 2013

Mayor wants to sell $400K in city land

Proceeds to bolster Haverhill's cash reserves

By Shawn Regan

---- — HAVERHILL — Nineteen city-owned properties with a combined assessed value of more than $400,000 will go up for sale, if Mayor James Fiorentini has his way.

They include mostly non-buildable lots, but at least two larger parcels are potentially developable, city officials said.

The assessed values for the parcels range from $500 all the way up to $105,700 for property on River Street. There’s also a parcel at 17 Tremont St. assessed for $64,500.

Fiorentini wants to sell the parcels, but City Council must declare them surplus before the land can be auctioned or otherwise offered to the public.

The council’s Public Properties and Natural Resources Committee will hold a public meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall to review and discuss the properties. If that committee endorses the mayor’s request, the full council will vote to surplus the parcels at a future meeting.

Councilor William Macek said the properties are sold “as is” and that anyone interested should attend Wednesday’s meeting in Room 204 of City Hall. Macek said it’s up to the buyer to research zoning and other rules that might affect a specific property and how it can be used.

“Some of the lots may be developable. Some may not be,” Macek said. “We don’t make any claims on that. A lot of times the smaller lots will be bought by direct abutters who use the land to make their property larger and more valuable.”

The parcels have a combined assessed value of roughly $400,000. In the past, the mayor has used proceeds from the sale of public property to repair and renovate schools and other city buildings, plug budget shortfalls and grow the city’s cash reserves. He said he plans to use all proceeds from this batch to bolster the city’s cash reserves.

Macek said the city usually sells the parcels for close to their assessed value.

“Sometimes we might sell a parcel for less, but negotiations usually start at the assessed value,” Macek said.

Before any public land is surplused, Macek said the parcel is reviewed by city department heads to make sure they don’t want the land and there are no issues with wetlands or other environmental concerns.

Up for sale : Lois Street: $16,700, $11,300, $11,300 (three parcels) :Ellen Street: $15,500 :Clifford Avenue: $17,400 :River Street: $105,700 :Washington Street: $12,900 :Rochambault Street: $16,500 :Laurier Street: $27,700 :Eudora Street: $500 :Freeman Street: $34,200 :Hillcrest Street: $16,400 :Montrose Avenue: $800 :West Lowell Avenue: $9,200 :Observatory Avenue: $1,700 :Hillside Avenue: $16,100 :Glen Meadow Road: $21,500 :Whitney Avenue: $3,400 :Treemont Street: $64,500 :NOTE: Numbered addresses not available