Andover assembling properties for future redevelopment

The city of Andover has been looking at purchasing properties north of Bunker Lake Boulevard, in the vicinity of Crosstown Drive, for future redevelopment opportunities.

The Andover Economic Development Authority has been keeping up to date on properties available for purchase north of Bunker Lake Boulevard in the vicinity of Crosstown Drive for future redevelopment opportunities.

The Andover Economic Development Authority has been keeping up to date on properties available for purchase north of Bunker Lake Boulevard in the vicinity of Crosstown Drive for future redevelopment opportunities.File photo by Eric Hagen

To date, the city has bought a vacant four-plex at 2600 138th Ave. for $174,000 on Oct. 26, 2011 and subsequently demolished it after council approval at a Dec. 20, 2011 meeting.

More recently, City Administrator Jim Dickinson said the Andover Economic Development Authority (EDA) Sept. 18 approved a letter of intent to show a willingness to work out a purchase agreement with Mardot Properties, LLC for 13725 Crosstown Drive N.W.

The Stop-N-Shop gas station is at this location. The gas station is part of a larger building that has had other uses like a tanning salon and a Youth First Community of Promise location in the past, but that space by the gas station is now vacant, according to Dickinson.

The city will continue to target vacant properties and willing sellers as it assembles property, Dickinson said. In previous discussions at workshop meetings, the EDA has not been high on the idea of relocating anybody.

A city cannot just tell somebody to move out. It would have to hire a relocation consultant who knows all the laws and could correspond with the people being moved to help them find new housing. When the city was redeveloping the junkyard areas along Bunker Lake Boulevard, a relocation consultant was brought in, Dickinson said.

Mayor Mike Gamache said redeveloping this area had been brought up by previous councils before he became mayor in 2001. The thought process has been that with many of the multiplex rental properties aging and with Bunker Lake Boulevard being a four-lane corridor, this area could be a good area for commercial development with some newer high-density housing.

The city has not brought forward a specific plan for what it would do if it assembles enough parcels. Gamache said the city would likely market property to development companies once enough properties are purchased.

“At this point, we want to get as much acreage as we can before we go out and market it,” Gamache said.

Dickinson said the city is making a point to not overpay for the properties and set the market at a higher rate.

“We’re looking long-term to redevelop the area, but taking our time,” Dickinson said.

Money to purchase property would come from tax increment financing (TIF) funds the city has collected from the Andover Station and Downtown Center TIF districts. Revenue the city will receive for selling land in Andover Station North to Capstone Homes for the development of 35 new single-family homes could also be used, according to Dickinson.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com


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