Town Clerk Nancy Mello sat in council chambers from 11:45 a.m. until 12:20 p.m. ready to log in any that arrived by the noon deadline, but none did.
At its meeting last Aug. 26, the Town Council unanimously approved putting out an RFP (Request for Proposals), offering the property for sale, and approved the expenditure of $5,000 for advertising costs to try to spread the word about the offering.
The town placed ads, in (among other places) The Providence Journal, banking journals, and the New England Real Estate Journal, and posted the RFP on the town website.
Although the bidding deadline has passed, a buyer could step forward at any time and make an offer. The property is still for sale. The Town Council is expected sometime in the near future to discuss what comes next.
“The industrial park has been discussed six ways to Sunday,” said Town Council President Ed Roderick back then. The question is, “how do you market it, how do you get it out there?”
“It’s been many years since this has been marketed by a broker,” Town Solicitor Andrew Teitz said. “This seems to be the most cost efficient way to get it out there” — in order “to test the market,” he said.
About the lack of bids, Town Councilor Brett Pelletier said, “I’m not totally surprised. Disappointed but not surprised. The way to sell it is to offer it, not to put it out to bid.”
Mr. Pelletier is familiar with the real estate business and voted for the RFP approach in August as a way to test the market, though he considers it “limited in scope.” He said now might be the time to hire a commercial broker.
Former Town Council President Jay Lambert said, “I don’t think anyone would be prepared to bid on the Industrial Park until they knew the outcome of the Carpionato project.”
He was referring to the Tiverton Crossings proposal — a 62-acre, 18-building, $80-$100 million mixed use development being proposed for a site almost directly across Route 24 from the town’s Industrial Park site. It would occupy property between Fish and Main Roads, and Route 24 and Souza Road.
The project is being proposed by the Carpionato Group and is pending before the town planning board, although no formal application has yet been filed (but is considered imminent).
Mr. Lambert said he supports the Carpionato project “totally.”