January 18, 2012

Falmouth picks plan for school sites

OceanView's bid of $3.25 million satisfies many councilor goals and will be voted on as soon as Monday.

By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

OceanView at Falmouth wants to pay $3.25 million for the former Plummer-Motz and Lunt school properties. It would build 35 cottages, 36 apartments or townhouses, a 30-bed Alzheimer’s facility and affordable senior housing. It also would allow the town to keep the Motz building and possibly develop it as a community recreation center.

Staff Graphic by Michael Fisher/Source: Sea Coast Management Co.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Read more about the proposals for Falmouth's former schools at

www.town.falmouth.me.us/Pages/FalmouthME_BComm/
CommunityFacilitiesPlanningCom

"The town chose the safest route," Culley said. "The town missed an opportunity to do something bold and progressive."

Redfern's proposal called for converting the Plummer-Motz buildings into a community center and office space, creating a town green for special events, building 16 townhouses and seven single-family homes, and adding retail space, including a food market and a bakery.

The Friends School, which rents space on Mackworth Island, would have bought the Lunt building and roughly 10 acres.

On its own, the Friends School offered several proposals, ranging from $800,000 for the Lunt building alone to $1.48 million for the Lunt building and 16 acres.

Pierce said the council was impressed with all of the proposals and hopes that Redfern will develop its plan at another site in Falmouth, and that the Friends School will stay in town, possibly by working with OceanView.

If the council approves the OceanView deal, construction will begin in January 2013 and new residents will start moving in six months later.

The project would add at least 100 people to the retirement community, which now has 270 residents, and would increase its property assessment from $33.8 million to $58.8 million. The deal doesn't include tax-increment financing, but it could be negotiated in the future, said Theo Holtwijk, the town's long-range planning director.

The council plans to use about $1 million from the deal to offset the cost of removing a federal conservation restriction from the 20-acre parcel and transferring it to other town-owned land that will be set aside for recreation.

The restriction was added to the Lunt Road land in 1981 when the town got a $20,000 grant for recreation improvements from the National Park Service.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

kbouchard@pressherald.com

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