Maine company submits bid for Hope Mill, as developer Coccoli stands by his plan

Maine company submits bid for Hope Mill, as developer Coccoli stands by his plan

SCITUATE – Even though a Maine-based company submitted a $1,288,000 bid on the Hope Mill in Scituate last week, developer Vincent Coccoli, who is suing the town, said he still plans to meet with the Town Council tonight, Jan. 7, to discuss his proposed plans for the antique structure.

BMP LLC, with an address of 111 West Street in Portland, submitted a bid last week on the 38-acre historic property, which is in holding by a state receivership. It’s located mostly on Main Street in Scituate with 7.5 acres in Coventry.

Bids on the long abandoned property closed Wednesday at 4 p.m., according to the Superior Court’s petition-to-sell notice. As of Tuesday morning, D’Agostino said that no other proposals were on the table.

Peter Furness, a Providence attorney and the property’s court-appointed receiver, received the bid, according to a copy of the purchase and sale agreement.

Furness did not return a phone call from The Valley Breeze & Observer.

James Bollinger, who signed the bid, is listed as the sole member of BMP LLC, which is connected to Paramount Development Group, Attorney David D’Agostino, Scituate’s town solicitor, told The Observer.

Paramount, based in Boston, specializes in rehabilitating “historic landmark properties that are under-utilized and abandoned,” according to its website. “Through adaptive re-use we revitalize them for the betterment of residents and create and preserve historically significant buildings.”

Richard DeRosas, Paramount’s president, did not return a phone call from The Observer.

While D’Agostino acknowledges BMP’s plan, he questions the legitimacy of Coccoli’s plan.

The developer, who is suing the town for $21 million related to failed attempts to develop the Hope Mill, said that his plan to build 207 apartment units on the property, dating back to 2007, is the “best plan.”

According to D’Agostino, he is unsure what Coccoli’s plan is because last he heard, he said, was that Coccoli’s financial backer, Belfonti Companies LLC, is no longer interested in developing the site.

When asked to respond to D’Agostino’s claim, Coccoli told The Observer, “I’m moving forward.”

“It’s the original plan,” he said. “It’s the only plan that can work, and I will get that done.”

BMP has submitted a proposal that is very similar to Coccoli’s plan, D’Agostino said and Coccoli confirmed.

The one major difference is that BMP states they plan to create an on-site septic system, while Coccoli has a plan to connect a sewer line to the town’s Police and Fire Departments and an elementary school, he said.

“We were very close last year to putting together an agreement,” Coccoli said.

This Thursday, the Town Council is scheduled to meet in open session with Coccoli and Belfonti Companies LLC, as requested by Coccoli, D’Agostino said, adding that the council will listen to what he has to say.

On Thursday, Jan. 14, the town will hold a public hearing concerning Hope Mill, D’Agostino added.

In order for a sale to be finalized, the Superior Court must approve it.

“Whether this is going to go forward is up to the court first and foremost,” D’Agostino said.

Comments

In an email from Belfonti to Atty D'Agostino, Monday, January 5, 2016: "Belfonti remains interested in the mill development, but our participation would require cooperation from everyone involved, including the town."