Fiorentini said he had hoped to find money for the city to buy the property and convert it to a public park. He said he applied, unsuccessfully, for state and federal grants in recent years to acquire the land. Paperwork in the new proposal shows Franzone paid $750,000 for the parcel in 1989. It’s currently assessed at $500,000, according to city tax records.
In general, the mayor said the project is a good sign the local residential real estate market is recovering after years of decline.
“Everyone wants is to see the value of people’s homes go up,” Fiorentini said. “The fact that developers are again willing to invest in these kind of projects is a good sign in that direction.”
City Councilor William Macek said he hasn’t seen the details of Franzone’s proposal either, but that he is cautiously optimistic.
“I want to make sure it’s favorable to the community and includes at least some of the public benefits in the mayor’s zoning proposal, such as public access and view corridors of the river,” Macek said. “But it’s great to see a development coming to the property, depending on the details.”