Nahant requests proposals to develop former U.S. Coast Guard housing site

NAHANT-The town is moving forward with requesting proposals to develop the former Coast Guard Housing site.Nahant Town Administrator Mark Cullinan said he would issue a Request for Qualifications prior to the April Town Meeting in order to pre-qualify developers for the project.?Only developers that are pre-qualified will be able to respond to the Request for Proposals,” he said. “We want to make sure those submitting proposals are qualified.”He said qualified developers would have experience with residential development consisting of at least 25 units, development experience, completed 40 B (affordable housing) projects, experience working with public boards and favorable references.Cullinan said a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) has been developed along with pre-qualification guidelines for potential bidders but it would not be issued to pre-qualified developers until after the RFP is approved by Town Meeting.The draft RFP specifies the town wants to sell the site for a minimum of $2.1 million to a developer for the purpose of housing redevelopment.The 3.5-acre lot is located on Castle Road, Gardner Road and Goddard Drive and 12 single-family homes are currently located on the property. It was sold back to the town by the federal government in January 2005 for $2 million.According to the guidelines in the RFP, all proposals for the site should consist of eight single-family homes and not more than 20 multi-family homes.Cullinan said the RFP specifies the Castle/Gardner Road area should be planned as an area for detached single-family homes so it would blend into the existing neighborhood. He said the Goddard Drive area, which is adjacent to Kelley Greens Golf Course and Bailey’s Hill, should consist of multi-family homes designed to blend in with the neighborhood in terms of design and scale. Cullinan said some of the units would be affordable housing, which he pointed out is not the same as subsidized or low-income housing.Cullinan said if Town Meeting approves selling the property, an RFP would be issued. He said he expects a special Town Meeting would be held in the fall to select the developer.In the meantime, to help residents understand the project and process regarding the potential sale and development of the property, Cullinan has been setting up informal informational meetings in residents’ homes.?What we’re doing is get the information out to the public,” he said. “We are asking people to serve as hosts by opening their homes and inviting their friends over. I already have a dozen hosts and we are looking for more. I’ll go in and give a presentation in their home to them and their friends.”Cullinan said some people find asking questions in a large public forum intimidating.?I’m trying to make it as easy as I can for residents to get information about the project,” he said. “I want to give everyone an opportunity to have their questions answered.”Anyone, who would like to act as a host, should call Cullinan at 781-581-9927.

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