EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 23, 2013

Selectmen review proposals for Bradstreet School

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Selectmen began sifting through the proposals for the former Bradstreet School at 70 Main St. last night.

After several minutes of intense discussion, the board eliminated two of the eight plans that were submitted because they included requests for the some of the town’s Community Preservation Act money. An organization known as A Coalition for a Better Acre offered to buy the former school for $300,000, but wanted the town to provide $720,000 in Community Preservation money to help the developer construct a new building with commercial and residential space.

Heartstone Realty Corp. submitted four plans for the property. The board voted to reject the company’s first option, which included a request for $200,000 in Community Preservation money. That plan called for renovating the school into homes and adding another building with commercial space.

Selectman Donald Stewart stressed he does not want the town’s Community Preservation money spent on a developer’s plan. He and his colleagues have also said they don’t want the former school demolished.

The board will invite the developers who submitted the remaining plans to meetings to discuss what they proposed, selectmen Chairman William Gordon said.

Heartstone Realty submitted four proposals. Besides the plan that was rejected, the company submitted three plans that would demolish the Bradstreet School. Two of those plans would provide mixed residential and commercial space, while the other would have businesses only.

Heartstone offered to buy the school for $300,000 in all of its proposals.

RCG LLC offered to pay the town a dollar for Bradstreet. Selectman Tracy Watson said “that puts them out of the running,” but her colleagues were willing to at least hear what the company proposes. The RCG plan would maintain the school building and renovate it into artists’ studios as well as homes and commercial space, and construct two new buildings for businesses on Main Street.

Oakgrove Residential offered to pay $250,000 for the property, maintain the school building and renovate it into apartments, and construct two new buildings with commercial space. Water Street Retail offered to pay $351,000 for the property, demolish the school and construct a new building that would be rented to businesses.

Selectmen have said they want businesses on the property.