Baker looking to sell publicly-owned properties, including Washington parcel

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WASHINGTON — A 32-acre parcel on Summit Hill Road is one of 40 publicly owned properties across Massachusetts that Governor Charlie Baker's administration is offering to developers.

On Monday, Baker outlined the administration's Real Estate Asset Leveraging Strategy, which is geared towards developing used or underutilized state properties into new opportunities.

The Washington parcel is located at 509 Summit Hill Road. It came under the state's jurisdiction after being gifted to Berkshire Community College many years ago, BCC officials said.

Located in the vicinity of Benson Pond near the Peru town lines, the 32.7 acre lot contains an 800-square foot abandoned house and a garage, according to the state Department of Administration and Finance.

It is the only property on the list that is located in the Berkshires. The other parcels include a 3,000-square foot lot in Boston's North End, one acre below Interstate 391 in Chicopee, several parcels in Northampton that are ready for development, and major development parcels near highways in Plymouth, Carver and Taunton.

The Washington lot is one of five properties on the list that are scheduled to be auctioned.

"The Commonwealth benefits, as a property owner or as a property seller," Baker told developers, financiers and others on Monday at the Transportation Building in Boston, according to the State House News Service.

"Max value to the Commonwealth may be different than just getting the best price you can out of a piece of property," he said.

The near-term opportunities were offered Monday for public-private partnerships, the Baker administration said.

In addition to spurring economic development and housing opportunities, the state is hoping to generate some revenue for transportation through the offerings, the State House News Service reported.

Baker said he has seen multiple state-owned lots lying fallow and said an "outside-in-look" would be good for the state.

Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay said the state will need to determine how to craft government concessions to encourage development that meets the state's priorities, according to the State House News Service.


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