EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 8, 2012

State sells Windham property

By John Toole jtoole@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — WINDHAM — An 11.7-acre site acquired for the Route 111 improvement project is being sold to Delahunty Nurseries and Florist owner Jay Yennaco for $1.25 million.

The Range Road property happens to be where Delahunty Nurseries — at one time owned by former Senate President Joseph Delahunty — has operated for years.

The state Department of Transportation put the land up for sale earlier this year after determining it was no longer needed for the project. That will secure the well-known business’s future for the long term.

The governor and Executive Council approved the sale to Yennaco last week.

Phillip Miles, chief of property management for the DOT, said the property has been leased by Yennaco for several years.

NAI Norwood Group of Bedford, which is marketing the former Chester College property, will receive $72,500 in the deal from the state for providing real estate services.

The property is the smaller of two large parcels the DOT put on the market.

A 29-acre parcel where the Applewood golf course is located is still up for sale.

The town had no interest in the properties, preferring they be sold to commercial interests to generate property tax revenue

The National Guard does have an interest in the Applewood property as a potential site for a maintenance facility. But town officials, working with Sen. Jim Rausch, R-Derry, are trying to discourage that move because the community deems the property far more valuable for taxes. The National Guard would be exempt from taxes.

Delahunty Nurseries and Applewood are near the crossroads of Route 111 and Interstate 93, the town’s commercial gateway. The Applewood property would be an asset to the guard because of its location.

The golf course operator has leased that land from the state, as has Delahunty Nurseries, but plans to close the course due to long-term uncertainty with the real estate.

The DOT offered the Applewood property to the town for $3 million.

Yennaco serves on the town’s Economic Development Committee. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.