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371 Main Street Disposition
image003In February, 2003, the Woburn Redevelopment Authority (WRA) voted to offer for redevelopment the commercial property located at 371 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts, for the minimum price of $130,000, in order to further stimulate the revitalization of Woburn Square. The minimum purchase price was based upon a preliminary staff valuation.  

Located in the heart of Woburn Square, the building currently is used as the office of the WRA. This property and an adjacent vacant lot were acquired by the WRA in February, 2000 from Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, for the purpose of creating a public plaza to provide both needed downtown open space, and a direct pedestrian link to the municipal parking lot to the rear of the property. With the new plaza, known as Citizens Park, now completed, it is the intent of the WRA to vacate the building, and return that portion of the property to commercial use, through either sale or lease.  

The WRA seeks a redeveloper who will renovate the exterior façade, opening up an entrance directly onto the plaza, to provide an element of security and encourage the full use of the plaza’s amenities.

The 371 Main Street advertising document, referred to as the Request for Response (ROR), also includes the requirement that the redevelopment incorporate the construction of a full service elevator within the building or site, in order to provide full handicapped access from the plaza to the Walnut Street Municipal Parking Lot located at the rear of the site. This elevator must be directly accessible from the plaza and will be transferred to municipal responsibility and control at the completion of the project; the specific form of control will be negotiated with the developer.  

The WRA stated in the ROR that the agency will consider providing an economic development grant to the developer to underwrite the cost of the elevator, and/or exterior façade improvements, if necessary to make the project feasible.  

The 371 Main Street Request for Response was advertised in May, 2003. A display ad was placed in the Woburn Daily Times Chronicle, and the New England Real Estate Journal. The ROR stated that the WRA would begin reviewing proposals after July 1, 2003. As of their meeting of July 9, 2003, the WRA had received proposals from the following proponents:

American Atlantic Private Holding Company, LLC
David D. Sharma, CEO
24 Jewel Road
Holbrook, MA 02343

Thomas Wilkie, owner of Moore & Parker
375 Main Street
Woburn, MA 01801

Dante Mitrano, owner of Hairmates Salon
454 Main Street
Woburn, MA 01801

Kevin C. Meany & Vincent Piro
379 Main Street
Woburn, MA 01801

The WRA has invited the above two proponents to a meeting on September 8, 2003, to make full presentations to the members. The WRA will then begin the process of selecting the proponent with whom to further negotiate. The following criteria will be used by the WRA to evaluate the merits of each proposal:
  • The Experience and financial soundness of the proponent
  • The degree to which the proposed use will increase overall economic activity in the downtown, by drawing additional customers, or increasing the range of retail goods or services offered in the downtown
  •   The degree to which the property is improved in overall design and appearance, including the degree of improvement to the building façade, and the addition of upper floors to the structure
  • The extent to which the proposed design will make maximum use of the interface and the new plaza/access way
  • The quality of design and condition of other developments or properties owned by the proponent
  • The amount and terms of WRA economic development assistance required
  • The final purchase price