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Land sale to town could bring in state income

On Aug. 27, residents of Westborough who attended a public hearing expressed their happiness at the bargain price that they believe that they'll receive when their town buys the former state hospital. The real estate purchase involves the sale of 95 acres of property for $2.2 million; as much as half of the income from the site development would go back to the state.

The town manager reported that Westborough plans to keep six soccer fields already in place and sell the rest of the land to business developers. The town could recoup the most income by splitting up the property into a number of 5- to 10-acre parcels. Several developers have expressed interest in the property, including a Hopkinton man who wants to build a film studio and a mixed-use development there.

One resident hopes that the land purchase is successful but wants to add a higher education satellite campus at the location instead of selling so much of the property. Another resident thinks that the boys' detention center could be moved so that the state would be further encouraged to sell.

Two state representatives and the delegate for a third representative also attended the hearing. One of the representatives observed that this is the first time that they remember that the state has sold land and agreed to collect money from the sale later, especially since the town can develop the land as it wants. She added that the representatives want to keep the process moving for the benefit of all involved.

Commercial real estate deals can involve complex negotiations, such as a low sale prices in exchange for later proceeds. A commercial real estate attorney might be able to help clients determine how to structure a real-estate deal for maximum profits.

Source: Metrowest Daily News, "Westborough residents show support for purchase of state hospital land", Sara Mulkeen, August 28, 2013

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