The word that the owner of the Yankee Clipper Inn has formed a new limited liability company and acquired the Cape Ann Tool Company property represents a revitalizing breath of fresh air for Rockport, where Pigeon Cove residents, especially, have sought for two years to at least have the eyesore buildings cleared and the public safety hazard they’ve posed for far too long eliminated.
And it’s good to hear that Michael J. Rauseo, who heads the new Cape Ann Tool LLC, plans to go forward with the permit-ready proposals that had been advanced by former owner Christopher Kaneb and his Old Colony Maritime LLC, which got $1.5 million for the property — roughly half of what had been the asking price earlier this year.
That’s not just because such a project will rid Pigeon Cove once and for all of buildings that have long been crumbling on the site, and not solely because the mixed-use project should bring at least a couple of new retail businesses in addition to what is largely a condominium project.
It’s because the change of ownership and Rauseo’s preliminary commitment to going forward with the project means the site will remain on Rockport’s tax rolls, and generate revenue for the community and its taxpayers for years to come.
In that vein, this acquisition stands as a good deal for Rauseo, Rockport and its residents alike. We can only hope that, with a new buyer in the game, so to speak, the town will do all it can to facilitate the project.
To some extent, of course, it already has. One of the plusses of carrying on the project that Kaneb had sought years ago is that the plans — largely centering on 25 housing units — have been extended, meaning the first doesn’t expire until November 2014.
Yet it’s important that town officials be prepared to quickly address any other issues that may surface, particularly as demolition looms for the buildings, which should have been cleared long ago.
The fact is Rauseo’s purchase of the Tool Company site and his commitment to move forward with redeveloping it represents the best possible overall outcome for the town.
Officials should be ready to treat it as such in the weeks and months ahead.