By Marjorie Nesin Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — ROCKPORT — The old Cape Ann Tool Company property on Granite Street has been purchased by a company with the same manager as the company that owns the Yankee Clipper Inn.
Cape Ann Tool LLC, managed by Michael J. Rauseo, bought the building and property, situated on the waterfront, for $1.5 million from Old Colony Maritime LLC last Thursday, according to the state Registry of Deeds. In January the property, up for sale since 2011, was listed at $2.95 million, according to a report by Rockport’s Tool Company Task Force.
Rauseo, a summer Rockport resident for half a century, said Wednesday the prior owner’s plans to build housing units on the property will move forward under his ownership.
“We’ve got a schedule and probably in the next 60 days or so we’ll set up a meeting with the neighbors and let them know what’s going on before we do anything,” Rauseo said. “It’s permitted for a new development of townhouses, and that’s what we plan on going forward with.”
The six permits Old Colony Maritime LLC held are all transferable to the new owner. The permits, state and local, which were granted a 2-year extension under state legislation in August, allow 25 residential units, a commercial space, public parking and a waterfront area on the property.
The first permit to expire will become invalid in November 2014, according to selectmen. Similar legislation, passed in 2010, had also extended permits by two years.
Rauseo’s company, Cape Ann Tool LLC, formed the day before purchasing the Granite Street property, is not the same company as the original property owner, Cape Ann Tool Co., which dissolved in 1987, according to state filings.
Rauseo, listed as manager, real property owner and signatory for Cape Ann Tool LLC’s filings, is also the manager and signatory for Yankee Clipper LLC, the company that owns the Yankee Clipper Inn on Granite Street.
But, Rauseo said he has no plans to combine the two businesses in any way.
The motivation to buy the old Tool Company property, Rauseo said, was to move forward with the prior owner’s building plans for the site and begin construction.
“That property, it’s a very nice, well-located property, but it’s an eyesore and it’s very unfortunate that it’s remained an eyesore for all these years,” Rauseo said. “We’re going to put it back to productive use.”
Selectmen at a meeting Tuesday night discussed the property sale, some eager to see the project, which began long ago, move forward.
“I don’t want to be too aggressive, but I’m starting to get impatient,” Selectman Paul Murphy said at the meeting, reflecting the feelings of many Rockporters.
Selectman Wilhelmina “Mina” Sheedy-Moores, who discovered the deed of sale for the property, agreed to contact Rauseo’s lawyer to inquire about the company’s construction plans.
Selectmen Chairwoman Erin Battistelli in a telephone interview Wednesday said the board had not yet reached Rauseo’s lawyer, but she was hopeful that Rockporters will soon see progress on the construction.
“I’m optimistic that a person making a purchase like this would be ready to make a move sooner rather than later,” Battistelli said.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.