Baldelli-Hunt: Three municipal properties up for potential sales

Baldelli-Hunt: Three municipal properties up for potential sales

WOONSOCKET – The City Council last week approved the sale of three municipal properties, though the city has not yet formalized agreements with the potential buyers, according to Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt.

The largest of the properties is the former Ayotte Field at the corner of Providence Street and Smithfield Road, which has been up for sale since at least 2016. A draft purchase and sales agreement submitted to councilors prior to a meeting last Wednesday showed city officials had recently entertained a $749,000 offer on the parcel.

Councilors voted to approve the sales in closed session and did not disclose the buyers or purchase prices.

In December, Baldelli-Hunt told councilors Atlantic Retail was looking to purchase the property to build a Dollar General. It was unclear whether last week’s vote pertained to that offer or a separate buyer.

“The three properties at this point are moving forward, but due to the fact that none of the agreements have been finalized as far as getting the language potentially, some of them, amended and signed, I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the city to disclose the amount or the buyers,” Baldelli-Hunt told The Breeze on Tuesday.

The council also voted to approve the sale of two other properties, at 80 Hamlet Ave. and 38 Burnside Ave. Both previously held residential structures that were acquired and demolished as part of the city’s blight program.

“The city had some longstanding issues with those properties that go back probably 10 or 15 years. Something that was just old and unresolved,” Baldelli-Hunt said.

After taking the owner to court, she said, the city demolished two multi-family structures on the Burnside Avenue property. The city is currently working to subdivide the parcel into two lots for the construction of two single-family homes.

In the case of the Hamlet Avenue property, she said, the city made a counter offer and is waiting to see if the potential buyer accepts.

“And if that counter offer is accepted, then I would say that I’m comfortable with the three buyers,” she said.

“I still wish that the Ayotte Field property would bring something like a Chipotle or a Panera Bread. That is something I would’ve preferred, but I’m comfortable with everyone,” she added.

In December, the city hired Michael Alves, a real estate agent with Keller Williams, to market those and other vacant properties. In addition to the three potential sales, the city is also seeking buyers for the former middle school on Park Place.