, Gloucester, MA

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January 6, 2014

Kirk eyes subdividing Fuller in Y deal

The Cape Ann YMCA’s submitted request to acquire the city’s former Fuller School property refers to the entire 13-acre site off Blackburn Circle, Mayor Carolyn Kirk said Saturday.

But the mayor says she would encourage a key city panel entrusted with considering such a deal to look at subdividing the property, perhaps selling parts of it to the Y, then keeping other portions of the land and buildings for the city to use for a public safety building and municipal offices.

“I would want the Land Disposition Committee to take a hard look at it,” Kirk said Saturday, referring to the little-known committee that falls under the city’s Community Development Department and stands as the first line of defense in fielding any requests to buy city property.

“It’s their call for any recommendation as to going forward,” the mayor said, “but I could certainly see them coming out with a recommendation that would almost be like a subdivision — perhaps agreeing to turn over a portion of the property but holding onto the piece where we could build a public safety building or utilize for offices and perhaps seek a commercial tenant.

“There are a lot of things in play,” said the mayor. “My goal right now is to try to bring in the city, a public safety plan, the YMCA and maybe a commercial tenant all through our RFP (request for proposals), and then to get everyone to the table.”

Beyond first getting a recommendation from the Land Disposition panel and a declaration from the City Council that all or parts of the Fuller property can be sold as surplus, the mayor and others within the administration must also advertise the property — whether in full or in subdivided form — through a formal request for proposals that essentially puts the property on the block.

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