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Selectmen Express Interest In Town Acquiring Stoughton Train Station from MBTA

The Redevelopment Authority will negotiate purchasing the Train Station with Transit Reality Associates (representing the MBTA). The MBTA recently placed the historic property in downtown Stoughton on the market.

The town, through the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority, intends to purchase the historic Stoughton Train Station from the MBTA and then, if possible, sell it or lease it to a third party, Selectmen chair John Stagnone said.

The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to formally express the town's interest in acquiring the property, which includes 30 adjacent parking spaces.

Selectmen voted to direct Interim Town Manager Joseph Feaster to inform Transit Realty Associates (representing the MBTA) that the town intends to acquire the train station and the negotiations will be done through the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority.

The Redevelopment Authority is a separate entity from the town and can negotiate and make a purchase of this nature without going through Town Meeting for approval.

A $1.5 billion state transportation bond bill signed in August of this year included $175,000 in matching grant funds to the Town of Stoughton for the purpose of purchasing the old MBTA Stoughton Railroad Station on Wyman Street. The bill also gave Stoughton the right of first refusal to the property, which dates back to 1888.

Stoughton's State House Delegation - Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton) and Representatives Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) and William C. Galvin (D-Canton) stepped in to give Stoughton this option of first refusal after the MBTA put the property up for sale.

According to a release from Senator Joyce's office:

The bill kept language directing the MBTA to convey the 6,100 square foot property, including 30 adjacent parking spaces, to the town for “fair market value.”

It also provides $175,000 in matching funds to help the town purchase the property and allows the town to pay off the purchase over ten years with no interest.

Selectmen Stagnone, John Anzivino, Steve Anastos and Bob O'Regan all voted in favor of the motion Tuesday night. Selectman Cynthia Walsh was the lone dissenting vote.

"I really don't foresee a market for that building," Walsh said, adding that she thought the town was acquiring another property like the Armory building on Pleasant St.

At a public hearing in September the consensus from speakers was that they wanted to have the town control the fate of the property, which is seen as a key piece in any downtown revitalization talks.

The intent for the town, through the Redevelopment Authority, is to acquire the property and then sell or lease it to a third party. If not successful in the resale efforts, the town can discuss drafting a Town Meeting article and obtaining the building from the Redevelopment Authority, selectmen discussed at the Tuesday meeting.

Carole October 17, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Cynthia Walsh wouldn't have any idea about real estate. I don't even know why she has been allowed to serve on the Board of Selectman for so many years. Members of the Board should have to prove they respect & can take care of their own property with pride, which she definitely knows nothing about. It they are not already, which I do not know, they should have a background check & credit check. Thus showing they can manage their own affairs, little lone those of the town.
Sarah October 18, 2012 at 01:53 AM
What exactly is the point of buying it with the intent to resell? Do they think they can make a profit off the resale? Or is this an attempt to try to put conditions into place that would limit the type of use for the building? It has already been protected under the historic register, correct? So, it cannot be torn down or structurally changed? Or am I incorrect on that? Buying it to lease makes sense to me, but buying to resell doesn't- unless I'm missing something.
Fiscal Conservative October 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM
When you look at the building, it really is a beautiful structure. When you look at the center of town its beauty wants to make vomit. It really is ugly, probably ranks up there as one of the worst in the state. It's really too bad the center couldn't be "blown up" and redesigned to incorporate the station into a new and more accessable center of town with modern, energy efficient building that could be designed as a quaint New England village. I remember when Newberry's, Snows, A&P, DeVito's, Sam & John's, Women's Apparel, State Spa, Rexall Drug, Stoughton Hardware, George's Restaurant, Western Auto, etc were in the center. As a kid, lots of time was spent there. I really would love to see vibrancy in the center once again. Maybe the cost would be more than the community could afford, maybe there is grant money available to try to do something as this. Govt(state & Fed) may have funds, private foundations, large businesses who knows where. Wouldn't be worth somebody in town govt persuing something like this? Do we not have planners, living in the community, who could step up, donate their time creating a new, beautiful center? Don't complain, try offering something to keep this building and make the center more "attractive", useful in the 21st century, yet "old timey". Bet the town would thrive if something as this could happen. Heck, people stay away because it's really a mess. Community leaders, try to be creative and proactive, rather than just doing nothing.
lowertaxes October 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
First of all, Ms. Walsh is in an elected position. It is the people in this town that have voted her in. Second, what does her property have to do with her ability to serve on the board? You ask why she has been "allowed" to be on the Board for so many years, it is because she received a majority vote. I personally like Ms. Walsh on the Board as she is not a "yes man" like the rest of them. I may not agree with everything she votes on but I like knowing we have a Selectperson who actually has the town's best interest in mind. She will continue to have my vote. If you don't like her Carole why don't you volunteer your time and run in the next election.

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