SOUTHINGTON – Owners of the Greenway Commons project are considering offers following an auction for the downtown site.
Jonathan Cuticelli, managing director for Hilco Real Estate, said the auction ended last week with “a couple of offers.” He’s discussing them with representatives for Meridian Development Partners, the company that’s owned the site since 2005.
“We’re in the bid consideration period,” Cuticelli said. “We’re working toward the best path forward.”
He declined to elaborate on the bidders or next steps.
Meridian Development tore down a former factory and cleaned up much of the land but didn’t develop the residential and commercial space approved for the 14-acre site.
Howard Schlesinger of Meridian said the company was close to selling the project in 2016. He recently said it could use “a fresh look, a fresh set of resources” to get it to completion.
The company got the property to the point where a new owner could start development on the 245 residential units and 22,000 square feet of commercial space allowed by the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
Schlesinger couldn’t be reached for comment on the results of the auction.
Local builders said the owners of Greenway Commons had approached them about buying the project.
Mark Lovley, a Southington developer, said he has other large projects under consideration such as the former Lincoln College site on Mount Vernon Road and didn’t bid on Greenway Commons.
He said sellers were offering environmental insurance as part of the auction, which helps a developer avoid risk if there’s more contamination than originally estimated.
Lovley said he hopes the auction results in a buyer.
“I think it’s a great thing for the town. I hope somebody does buy it and get it going,” he said.
Meridian removed most of the contamination from former industrial uses. There’s remediation work to be done around utility corridors, Schlesinger said, but that work didn’t make sense until it’s determined where buildings will be placed. There is still some state remediation money available that will transfer to the new owner.
The property is also in a tax increment financing district, which provides a loan that’s paid back by future taxes.