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MBTA again tries to sell 2.8-acre property near Forest Hills Station in JP

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 27, 2012 05:20 PM

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(Boston Redevelopment Authority)

A map of the area shows the various parcels around Forest Hills Station. "Parcel S" is labeled as the MBTA parking lot.

For the third time in as many years, the MBTA is trying to sell a 2.8-acre property in the Forest Hills section of Jamaica Plain.

Near the T’s multi-modal subway station that serves as the Orange Line’s terminus, the site dubbed “Parcel U” is being offered for a minimum bid price of $1.1 million, MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera said by e-mail today.

That figure is $450,000 less than the price the transit authority tried to sell the parcel for during a second bid process that began last April, the spokeswoman said. No bids were received during the three-and-a-half month window that followed.

During the first unsuccessful bid process that began in late fall of 2008, when the MBTA listed at the same time and later sold off nearby “Parcel V” and “Parcel W” as a package deal, Parcel U was listed at a minimum bid price of $1.6 million, T officials said.

The latest request for bids to purchase Parcel U began in mid-December and the process has been extended to an April 18th deadline “to coincide with the MassDOT Diversity Development parcel schedule,” according to the spokeswoman.

No bids have been received so far at the T’s realty office, officials said. If any bids are received they cannot be opened until the bid process’ deadline and the selection of a bidder is scheduled to be chosen by May 9.

A community planning initiative completed in fall 2008 suggested Parcel U should contain 120 housing units, 5,000 square feet of retail, 30,000 square feet of open space, 4,000 square community space and about 120 residential parking spots along with bicycle parking.

Bids to lease a fourth parcel in that area of Forest Hills, a 3.16-acre parking lot called “Parcel S,” were also requested when the other three sites went out for bid, according to Rivera. No bids were received.

“With regard to Parcel S, despite our past efforts, there’s no interest from the development community at this time,” the spokeswoman said. “We will, however, continue to market and keep available this development opportunity.”

The nearly 2 acres of property that make up Parcels V and W are currently being developed.

All four parcels along where Washington Street and Hyde Park Avenue run parallel to one another are near the long-stalled Arborway Yard development where the state plans to replace the Casey Overpass that carries car, bike and pedestrian traffic over the Forest Hills station. A decision on what will replace the overpass – a topic that has been spiritedly debated over the past year – is expected soon, officials have said.

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