Northborough likely to sell downtown tax title property
By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Northborough–The most logical disposition of a parcel of property the town took by tax title in 2012 is to declare the lot and building surplus and sell it, Town Administrator John Coderre told the Board of Selectmen at its meeting June 9.
The property at 39 West Main St. measures just under two-tenths of acre in size and has a total value of $388,600, including $202,000 for the 7,800 square foot building and $186,600 for the land, according to Northborough Assessors records. The town took the property in January of 2012 from Margaritaville LLC, the records indicate.
In response to a question from Selectmen Chair Dawn Rand, Coderre said a formal discussion will likely take place in coming weeks, but indicated the town has spoken with abutters who may be interested in acquiring the parcel. If declared surplus property by selectmen, the property would be sold through a public process, Coderre noted.
“I think this will be something you will want to reach out to other boards and committees for input on,” he said, noting that nearby properties have recently been developed or redeveloped as the downtown area has undergone a public and private makeover in parts. “I think it makes sense for us to follow a similar path.”
Because it was acquired through tax title, the property can be sold outright without Town Meeting approval. Other potential uses would require a vote from Town Meeting and likely the formation of a study committee or other group, Coderre said.
Meanwhile, Selectman Leslie Rutan again asked about another property nearby, the former R&T Furniture building at 40 West Main St.
The town had begun the tax title taking process on that parcel as well, but someone had stepped forward to halt those foreclosure proceedings and put the property back into good standing, Coderre said.
“We use the foreclosure process as the last possible outcome,” he said.
Rutan expressed frustration at the lack of change at the site and said the building continues to be both an eyesore and a hazard. But Coderre said the town is not in a position to force the owners’ hands if they are in good standing on their tax bill.
“There may be something happening that we don’t know about,” he said. “They’re under no obligation to tell us if there is.”
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