EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 30, 2012

Windham developers eye town-owned land

By John Toole

---- — WINDHAM – Voters could have a say in shaping a commercial development planned for London Bridge Road and Route 111.

Karl Dubay, president of The Dubay Group, formally approaches selectmen tomorrow about acquiring two small town-owned parcels developers would like to use in the project at the southwest corner.

"We are evaluating mixed uses, including a breakfast-lunch bistro, small retail shops, possibly a small bank or office," Dubay said Friday. "That's a beautiful corner lot. We want to do something nice."

Dubay is working with agent Bev Donovan of the Grubb & Ellis property management and real estate firm, as well as Earl and Georgianna Goodnough, owners of 1.2 acres near the intersection, and potential users.

Acting under a new town policy for disposing of surplus land, the developers would acquire two parcels totaling about 0.69 acres.

"That all could be purchased from the town and incorporated into a nice corner lot," Dubay said.

He said he believes the town land, when added to the Goodnough property, would provide for a higher quality facility with more options for landscaping, attractive access and layout configuration.

Selectmen must give their OK first, but voters would have to sign off through Town Meeting, too.

"Selectmen cannot sell town property without us voters approving it," Dubay said.

He said he expects selectmen would first ask staff to review the proposal before putting any question before voters.

"Hopefully, they will vote Monday to get more information," he said.

There's a potential plus for taxpayers.

"It will generate taxes," Dubay said.

It's possible Dubay could bring the project before the Planning Board this winter, prior to voter approval, presenting two potential development options. one including the town land, the other with just the Goodnough property.

"We're open to going before the board to discuss options," Dubay said.

The Dubay Group, a Windham-based engineering and planning firm, most recently was involved with the new ConvenientMD urgent care center project.

Dubay has some additional projects that could be coming forward in commercial areas at the Interstate 93 and Route 111 crossroads.

"The town will be seeing a lot of good things soon," Dubay said.