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January 29, 2013

Developer proposes to buy former Bradstreet School for $300,000

NORTH ANDOVER – A community development corporation based in Lowell has offered to buy the former Bradstreet School at 70 Main St. for $300,000.

The Coalition for a Better Acre was the only entity that responded to a request for proposals the town sent out a few months ago. Town Manager Andrew Maylor told the selectmen last night he expected to receive no more than one or two responses.

The Coalition for a Better Acre, which has built housing for lower-income residents in Lowell and was founded 30 years ago, proposes demolishing the former school and constructing a three-story structure that would have commercial space on the first floor and affordable homes on the upper levels.

The proposed building would be much closer to the street than the former school, which is set back several dozen feet from the road, Maylor said.

Selectman Tracy Watson suggested the board hold an executive session to discuss the developer’s plans. Selectmen Chairman William Gordon said he will invite representatives of Coalition for a Better Acre to a meeting of the board.

Selectman Rosemary Connelly Smedile said it was a shame that the town had to sell Bradstreet School, but the estimated cost of rehabilitating the structure was $9 million, she noted. Watson noted the town spends about $40,000 per year to maintain an empty building.

Town Meeting voted last June to authorize the selectmen to sell the former school, which was closed in 2005. The town had planned to transform Bradstreet into a police station, but chose instead to purchase the former Merrimack Valley Credit Union office at 1475 Osgood St. for that purpose.

The police have been based at that location since October 2010.

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