SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been years since the City of Springfield sold one of its century-old buildings to a developer for just one dollar.
The catch was, there was a time-frame for when the city wanted it developed.
After the deadline came and went the 22News I-Team found out where the deal stands and if anything will happen to it any time soon.
We tracked down city officials and the developer to find out if that building will ever be put to use and I found out it may end up in the city’s hands once again.
It’s a building many people walk by everyday. 195 State Street used to be home to the Springfield School Department but in recent years, it’s only sat empty.
“I was hoping it would be developed since it is a historical landmark in the city,” said Springfield’s Joanne Sickles.
In 2011 the city sold the building for $1 to CSM North, a developer in CT, with an agreement it’d be developed in 18 months.
That was nearly 3 years ago, so the I-Team started looking for answers.
“They completed a portion of the project,” said Brian Connors, the Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development in Springfield.
Springfield Planning Department’s Brian Connors admitted to the I-Team the developer has run into financial constraints, the project is at a standstill, and the city is now exploring its legal options.
“The project was supposed to be completed by now the city law department is looking at enforcing the city’s agreement which required them to have completed the project by now and that’s where we’re at today,” Connors said.
Connors says the building sold for a dollar because that was the best offer they could get since there was a lot of work to be done including asbestos clean-up.
The I-Team called the developer, David Nyberg of CSM North when we first started inquiring into the project a few months ago.
He said his plan for the building was to turn it into an apartment building.
The developer told the I-Team, despite what it looks like, there’s actually been a lot of work done on the inside. He said it’s been completely cleaned out and the asbestos was removed.
At the time, Nyberg told us he was in talks with a new investor and agreed to an on-camera interview, but he has since stopped returning our calls.
Connors says the city is considering reclaiming the building and putting it back on the market. With a casino possibly on the way he thinks there could be an opportunity that wasn’t there the last time it was for sale.
Connors also said he thinks there will be some movement on this by the end of the year.