Mayor eyes property to add to police and fire station

Mayor eyes property to add to police and fire station

An aerial view shows the police and fire complex, left, the municipal fuel station, top left, and 175 Bourne Ave., top right. Mayor Lombardi is seeking to purchase the Bourne Avenue home to add to the police and fire property.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi is looking for the town to buy another piece of property, a move he says is in keeping with his philosophy that municipalities should always look at purchasing the land abutting their own.

The target property, at 175 Bourne Ave., contains a foreclosed home. It would be added to the existing police and fire complex property at 1967 Mineral Spring Ave.

By adding the home and its yard to the larger property, it should immediately double its value, said Lombardi. The property is currently valued at $192,000 in the town’s tax rolls, and Lombardi is seeking to buy it for $127,000.

Lombardi was set to take his purchase plan to the Town Council at a meeting Tuesday evening, Feb. 6.

The existing 20,000-square-foot police and fire station is situated on 71,000 square feet of land at the corner of Mineral Spring Avenue and McGuire Road. Public safety employees will vacate the complex once a new public safety complex is completed next year, and the property will either be put up for sale or lease, according to Lombardi.

“It’s a matter of deriving some revenue and a matter of planning for our future,” said Lombardi.

The mayor said he’s received some initial inquiries about the property, and could see a medical complex or other use taking it over. The property has been updated multiple times both on the inside and outside, and has plenty of parking.

Adding the residential property next door, with its 9,000 or so square feet of land, also gives the town a backup plan in case officials have to move the existing town fueling station behind the public safety complex due to issues with a sale to a private entity, said Lombardi. The new safety complex, across from North Providence High School, will not have a fueling station, as Chief of Police David Tikoian wanted only safety vehicles in the back part of that property.

Lombardi said he’s been told by experts that the town will get millions of dollars for the existing police and fire station, but no official appraisal has been done. The property is valued at $2.2 million in North Providence’s tax rolls.

The property at 175 Bourne Ave. is one of several Lombardi has targeted in recent years. The town used a portion of the Police Department’s $60 million settlement with Google in 2012 to buy the 8-acre property for the new safety complex, as well as two abutting properties on Mineral Spring Avenue. A former Knights of Columbus hall and commercial plaza both came last year. A massive underground tank is now going in the ground where the two buildings once stood.

Tikoian is estimating that the construction phase of the new public safety complex will come in between $20 million and $25 million, but he is hoping to bring it in closer to $20 million. Other cost factors on the project are the $2.5 million for the site work and $1.7 million for the architect.

Lombardi all along has touted the revenue from selling or perhaps leasing the current public safety complex as one of many benefits to building a new one. Also touted as a benefit is the energy efficiency that will come with the new complex.

The town purchased the former Camp Meehan property and added it to Notte Park in 2012. In another acquisition, the mayor later purchased a home behind North Providence Town Hall and converted most of the yard into parking for the town property, maintaining the building for future office space. He is also looking at several properties as potential future recreation space.

Comments

Little by little I guess we are finding out why taxes went up. Maybe if the storms were managed by people who knew what to do and NOT waist salt the money would be available !

by the DPW that they don't use salt any longer, that's also the reason the streets are no longer swept in the spring.