Lease, sale deals near on two town-owned buildings

Lease, sale deals near on two town-owned buildings

Plans include putting Brayton School up for sale

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi says he’s nearing a “lucrative” lease deal for the former Marieville Elementary School building, one that would bring in recurring revenue for many years to come.

A lease deal is always what he’s wanted for this Mineral Spring Avenue building, said the mayor, and under this scenario, “we’re always going to own it.”

The mayor is also in separate discussions about a straight sale of the former public safety complex on the other end of Mineral Spring Avenue. Those active talks are happening with multiple potential buyers, he said.

“It’s very exciting,” he said of the potential revenue from the two buildings, which are no longer needed after public safety employees moved to a new safety complex and Marieville students were moved into two other new schools.

The mayor is intending to soon bring the proposed Marieville building lease to the Town Council for approval.

Lombardi has estimated a combined windfall to the town and its taxpayers of up to $5 million from selling or leasing the two properties, though he declined to discuss how much money is being discussed in the current talks.

On a separate effort to gain new revenue through a town-owned property, the mayor says he’s decided against taking an offer of $10,000 from Brad Aubin of the Hopscotch Room and Tumblesalts Café to purchase the former E.A. Brayton School at 2 Thomas St. in Centredale. He said officials are having a sign painted announcing that the property is being put up for sale or lease, but “mostly for sale.”

Given the strong interest in the other buildings, and the town’s overall shortage of available commercial properties due to new development, the mayor said he’d like to see whether officials can secure a larger sum of money by marketing the building. The town hasn’t yet gone public for a sale or auction, he said, so it makes sense to explore the possibility of more revenue.

The old school building off Mineral Spring Avenue has been the target of local preservationists and the North Providence Historic District Commission who want to see it saved and converted into a mixed-use commercial hub.

The Historic District Commission previously sought letters of interest from developers looking to restore the property, receiving only a response from Aubin.