By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Assessment and demolition of the former Hudson Police Station on Packard Street could soon move forward thanks to the promise of out-of-town money, town officials said Dec. 21.
Speaking at a Select Board meeting, Acting Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development Pam Helinek announced that she and her department’s Acting Director Kristina Johnson had recently secured a pledge from the group Mass Housing to pay up to $63,000 towards work at Packard Street.
“This is going to allow us to have the building prepared and, hopefully, even demolished before the developer comes in, which will allow us to get much more competitive bids on the project,” Helinek said.
Mass Housing is a quasi-state agency focused on supporting affordable housing throughout the region.
It has a vested interest, therefore, in the Packard Street property, which has already been slated for redevelopment as an affordable housing facility.
Regardless of its future, though, the old police station, as it stands now, is far from habitable. Parts of the roof visibly sag. Prominent voices, from former Town Planner Jack Hunter to the building’s former law enforcement occupants, say the interior also languishes.
Town officials agreed months ago that they’ll need to demolish the historic structure before building on the lot it occupies.
Hudson does not have a developer or contractor yet publicly lined up to do either that demolition or construction.
This money, though, may help to change that, officials say.
“This puts us in a much better position [than we were in],” Select Board Member John Parent explained “…That’s going to be an advantage for any developer that wants to take part in this project.”