Friday, February 15, 2019

HCDPA and Its Land for Sale

Last year, HCDPA (Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency) decided to divest itself of most of the property it owns, to bankroll the agency and further its mission. In July 2018, a narrow lot on Columbia Street was sold to Shanan Magee. Magee, who owns the adjacent property, had been petitioning HCDPA for months to sell him the strip of land. The minimum bid had been set at $20,000; Magee's bid was $31,110.

Since then, HCDPA's attempts to sell its property have not been so successful. Last fall, HCDPA tried to sell the lot at 238 Columbia Street (now without the majestic tree), again by sealed bids. There were no bidders.

In January, HCDPA offered 238 Columbia Street for sale again, along with 202-206 Columbia Street, the parcel that was once half of a community garden. 

The sealed bids were to be submitted on February 14, and yesterday, at the monthly meeting of the HCDPA board, the bids were opened. There were no bids for the once hotly contested lot at the corner of Columbia and Second streets. For 238 Columbia Street, there were two bids: Per Blomquist, who plans to build two multi-unit buildings at 248-250 Columbia, offered $5,000 for the lot and indicated his intention to construct there a building similar to what he is planning for 248 and 250 Columbia; Matt Parker offered $3,000 and said he would build "a single-family house for affordable housing." 

Mayor Rick Rector, who sits ex officio on the HCDPA board, declared the bids a "crazy low price" and moved to reject both. (The lot is assessed for $32,000. When the lot was offered for sale last fall, the minimum bid was set at $30,000). The motion carried unanimously.

There was discussion of how the properties could be better marketed and questions about legal constraints for the agency in selling property, but no definite path forward was determined.

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