The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 14, 2001


Last minute bid for town-owned lot meets asking price Sale nets $400,000 for stabilization fund

At noon on September 4, frowns of disappointment turned to smiles of relief as the only bid received for the town's Carriage Way lot proved acceptable. Offering $475,000, which was the minimum asking price, William Costello, a well-known and financially-stable Carlisle developer, was awarded the four-acre lot.

Down to the wire, as town waits

The tension was palpable when, at 11 a.m., not a single bid had been received. "It's disappointing," said town manager Madonna McKenzie, "but if we have to, the town can wait (to market the lot at a later date). It's a beautiful town, and that's not going to change." Finally, at 11:50, a bid was delivered. Fortunately, it only took one bid to meet the town's goal of adding over $400,000 (after expenses) to the town's stabilization fund.

"I'm very pleased," beamed McKenzie. "This money for the stabilization fund will do well for us in the future." Pointing out that the town has a number of big expenses down the line, McKenzie underlined the value of a healthy stabilization fund balance to be drawn on in times of debt.

Brokers say market is slow

Kim Comeau of Barrett and Co., who was involved in marketing the lot, expressed surprise that there was only one bid, but added, "Builders are gun-shy. They don't know where the market is going. And there aren't many end-users looking right now" Calling the market "extremely slow," she pointed out that customers for expensive Carlisle lots are usually high-tech people, many of whom have been hurt in the stock market. "Everyone's trying to figure out where the real estate market's at, and hoping it will improve."

Kurt Meehan of Hunneman Senkler noted the price of the lot seemed reasonable. He mentioned two lots, one in Great Brook Estates that sold recently in the mid-$500,000 range and one on Daniels Lane off Curve Street which sold for $495,000. On the other hand, there are currently five lots on the market ranging from $369,000 to $569,000, so buyers have their pick. And he agreed that it's not surprising builders shied away. "A lot at that price requires a house to sell for around $1.5 million. Right now the market is almost saturated in that price range."

Unused lot transformed

The lot at 10 Carriage Way was formed by the union of a small piece of land, purchased from Costello with the approval of Town Meeting for $50,000, with a landlocked piece the town owned. The addition of the smaller piece provided access so the combined lot could be sold as a building lot. Pointing out that the town-owned land had been of little use, McKenzie adds, "I think we won in this process." The RFP was issued July 1. Barring any unforeseen challenge, a purchase and sale agreement will be drawn up this week.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito