T parcel unsold, but buyers are looking

FOREST HILLS—The MBTA received no bids on a surplus parcel south of the Forest Hills T Station on Hyde Park Avenue. The parcel is now open to offers from any interested buyers.

“Despite concerted outreach efforts, which included bidder-friendly modifications to the requirements for submitting offers, no bids were received,” MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told the Gazette last week.

Though there are no formal negotiations at this point, the MBTA “real estate staff is talking with some parties who have expressed interest,” Pesaturo said.

Parcel U, encompassing about 2.8 acres, is one of a handful of parcels that the T has been trying to sell, with limited success, since 2007. It is bounded by Hyde Park Avenue on the west and Ukraine Way on the north. It extends just south of Walk Hill Street.

Bidding opened in January with an original deadline of Feb. 15. The bidding deadline was extended to Feb. 29, then April 30.

The parcel was originally priced at $1.1 million. The price was lowered but the parcel still received no bids, Pesaturo added.

Pesaturo said in March, “It is not accurate to say no bids have been received,” leading the Gazette to report that Parcel U had received bids.

The Gazette asked the question before the deadline, “so it was inaccurate to say no bids had been received, [as] there were three more weeks before the deadline,” Pesaturo explained last week.

The Forest Hills Improvement Initiative (FHII) Use and Design Guidelines, completed in 2008, dictate that Parcel U should house locally-supportive businesses such as hardware stores, bookstores or dry cleaners.

It also states that 4,000 square feet should be set aside for community use, such as a day care facility. It further asks for 150 housing units, half of which should be affordable; 130 residential parking spaces; and for 30,000 square feet, or 24 percent of the parcel’s area, to be left as open space.

Two different MBTA lots, located on Washington Street south of Ukraine Way and subject to the same FHII guidelines, were sold in 2009 and are under development. A new Harvest Co-op Market and a bank are slated to open there in September.

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