Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 91 to lease Gov­er­nors Hall

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­

CAM­BRIDGE — Gov­er­nors Hall is no longer man­aged by the non­profit Sail­winds of Cam­bridge, Inc., as of Wed­nes­day, Nov. 30.

The pos­si­bil­ity of the city ne­go­ti­at­ing with Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 91 to lease the build­ing for up to three years was pre­sented at the Mon­day, Sept. 12, meet­ing of City Coun­cil. Post 91 lost its own build­ing to a fire in May.

Ac­cord­ing to City Man­ager San­dra Tripp-Jones, the city is mov­ing for­ward with that lease agree­ment. The lease is ex­pected to have be­gun on Thurs­day, Dec. 1.

On Sunday, Nov. 27, an auc­tion was held and much of the equip­ment was sold, such as ta­bles, chairs, kitchen equip­ment, and more.

An­thony Thomas, dur­ing pub­lic com­ment at the Mon­day, Nov. 28, city coun­cil meet­ing, said he was con­cerned about the au­thor­ity of Sail­winds of Cam­bridge, Inc to sell the equip­ment.

City at­tor­ney Rob Col­li­son said that city staff was un­able to de­ter­mine that tax­payer money pur­chased the equip­ment, and since Gov­er­nors Hall is con­sid­ered a com­mer­cial en­ter­prise, fix­tures and equip­ment do not have to re­main with the build­ing.

The Post 91 build­ing sus­tained about $900,000 in dam­age when a light­ning strike is thought to have started the fire above the fa­cil­ity’s main ban­quet hall.

Fire crews from Cam­bridge, Eas­ton, Trappe and Ox­ford all re­sponded to Ra­di­ance Drive, and west­bound U.S. Route 50 was shut down for a short time to al­low crews to bat­tle the fire. It took fire­fight­ers about two hours to con­trol the blaze, the fire mar­shal’s of­fice said, and no in­juries were re­ported.

Gov­er­nors Hall is part of an ap­prox­i­mately 12-acre par­cel of wa­ter­front prop­erty that was trans­ferred to the city from the state in Au­gust 2014, with the con­di­tion that the city would de­velop the prop­erty within 15 years.

A two-acre par­cel of the prop­erty is be­ing leased to Yacht Main­te­nance Com­pany un­der a 30 year agree­ment that the coun­cil voted to ap­prove on Wed­nes­day, Feb. 17. Ear­lier in 2016, the coun­cil de­clared a small area, less than an acre, to be ex­cess prop­erty in or­der to in­clude it in the por­tion leased to YMC.

The in­creased area will al­low YMC to ser­vice larger ves­sels than the com­pany is cur­rently able to ac­com­mo­date, which will in turn cre­ate jobs and in­crease rev­enue.

As for the rest of the prop­erty, the city is still weigh­ing their op­tions for de­vel­op­ment. The mat­ter is reg­u­larly dis­cussed at City Coun­cil meet­ings, and the coun­cil has held sev­eral work ses­sions solely to work on how to move for­ward with the Sail­winds prop­erty.

Sur­veys have been done about the project to gauge the opin­ions of the gen­eral pub­lic, and the coun­cil has ac­cepted pub­lic com­ment in sev­eral in­stances since the process of de­vel­op­ing the Sail­winds prop­erty be­gan.

Most re­cently, a work ses­sion was held to out­line four de­vel­op­ment ap­proaches: re­quest for quo­ta­tion (RFQ), re­quest for pro­posal (RFP) with min­i­mum re­quire­ments, RFP with cri­te­ria or the city acts as the de­vel­oper.

Tripp-Jones said the city does not have the ex­pe­ri­enced per­son­nel it would re­quire to de­sign, build and man­age a project of this mag­ni­tude.


Gov­er­nors Hall sits at the Sail­winds Park port prop­erty along Hay­ward and Franklin streets on the Chop­tank River wa­ter­front in Cam­bridge.

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