LACONIA — The City Council last night rejected two offers — one from Lakeport Landing and the other from Irwin Marine – for the property on Union Avenue leased for the past 30 years to Landing Landing, both of which fell shy of the appraised value of $480,000.
The property, a 0.81 acre strip between the roadway and railway was leased to Lakeport Landing in 1985 for 10 years with two 10-year renewal periods. The lease will expire on November 1, 2015 and cannot be renewed again. In 1987 Lakeport Landing constructed a 9,840-square-foot building on the lot. Under the terms of the lease, ownership of the building would revert to the city at the expiration date.
Erica Blizzard, who owns and operates Lakeport Landing, offered to purchase the property for $331,400 and subsequently Irwin Marine, which operates on the abutting lot, submitted an offer of $335,000.
Councilor Brenda Baer (Ward 4) proposed negotiating a sale of the property to Lakeport Landing at its appraised value. She was joined only by Councilor Arman Bolduc (Ward 6). With Councilors Henery Lipman (Ward 3), David Bownes (Ward 2) and Ava Doyle (Ward 1) in the majority, Baer's motion failed by a vote of three-to-two.
Lipman proposed authorizing the City Manager Scott Myers to negotiate with both Lakeport Landing and Irwin Marine, with respect to the appraised value as well as other conditions for the sale of the property. The city will require easements to maintain the retaining wall along Union Avenue. The owner of the property would be expected to maintain its taxable value for a specified period of time. Should Lakeport Landing fail to acquire the property, the transaction would be subject to a transition period of up to two years to enable the firm to make alternative arrangements for its operations. Finally, prospective buyers would asked to consider subdividing the property and transfer approximately a third of the lot to the city for a parking lot.
Lipman said he anticipated these discussion would begin soon with an eye to structuring a sale of the property in July.
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