LACONIA — The City Council this week unanimously agreed to lease the property at 21 Elm Street for two more years to Lakeport Landing marina.
Lakeport Landing has leased the property from the city since 1985, but on November 1 its third 10-year lease will expire and the company is out of renewal options. For months the city council wrestled with the request of marina owner Erica Blizzard to retain control or take ownership of the property when the lease expires, but in June decided to sell it for $528,000 to Irwin Marine, which owns the abutting property. Blizzard had offered nearly $200,000 less.
Among the conditions of the sale is a provision that the city will not transfer title to the property to Irwin Marine for two years to enable Blizzard to make alternative arrangements for housing the headquarters of her business.
When Lakeport Landing's lease expires on Sunday, the city will not only retain ownership of the land but also take ownership of the 9,076-square-foot building the marina built on it in 1987. For the last 10 years Lakeport, Landing has leased the lot owned by the city for $8,750 per year. Although the city will own both the land and the building, under the terms of the two-year lease the annual rent for the property will remain the same, without reflecting the additional value of the building.
Meanwhile, Blizzard has filed suit in Belknap County Superior Court challenging the council's decision to sell the property to Irwin Marine. With the course and timing of the litigation unclear, City Manager Scott Myers said that for the moment he is a assuming that the city will close its purchase and sales agreement and transfer the property to Irwin Marine in approximately two years time.
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