Former salt barn property for sale

Former salt barn property for sale

SMITHFIELD – Six years after the demolition of a decrepit salt barn at the corner of Routes 7 and 116 in Smithfield, town officials are beginning the process of trying to sell off the property, which is part of the town’s Economic Growth Overlay District.

At a Town Council meeting June 1, councilors approved authorizing a request for proposals for the sale and development of the property located at 999 Douglas Pike, which consists of one lot totaling 3.82 acres and is currently zoned for planned corporate use.

Town Planner Michael Phillips said the town has seen a lot of interest from developers in the property over the years, noting that it’s time to put it out there and see what responses they receive.

“It’s a key piece to the development of the corridor,” he said, referring to the town’s Economic Growth Overlay District in the area of Routes 7 and 116. A sale and development of that site will hopefully “spark further interest in the development of the area,” he said.

Whatever project is proposed must be in compliance with the Economic Growth Overlay District. A minimum bid price is set at $1,495,000, according to town documents.

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Answering a question from Council Vice President Sean Kilduff, Phillips said that councilors are not obligated to sell the property if they don’t like any of the proposals. “It’s in the council’s hands whether to sell or not,” he said.

Proposals are due June 25, and Phillips said he anticipates the evaluation committee will have a recommendation for the July 6 Town Council meeting. Councilor David Tikoian asked Phillips if three weeks would be enough time to receive bids.

“I believe there are people out there who are interested and can come forward with proposals,” Phillips said. “I think people generally know that the town has this property and is looking to dispose of it.”

In June of 2015, the town-owned salt barn was demolished by AA Wrecking Co. Inc. for $17,600. Town Manager Randy Rossi, then serving as the town’s finance director, had described the salt barn as a “fantastic eyesore,” according to an article in The Valley Breeze & Observer at the time.

The town purchased the property from the state in 2010 for $985,000, with the intent to eventually sell the land for private development. The state, which had been leasing the building for a couple of years, had used it for bulk storage and offloading of a road salt/sand mixture and for the storage and offloading of liquid calcium chloride, and no longer needed it after an expansion to a facility in Lincoln on Route 116 was complete.