Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 91 nears lease for Gov­er­nors Hall

Dorchester Star - - REGIONAL - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Terms for the lease of Gov­er­nors Hall by the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 91 are ex­pected to be fi­nal­ized at the be­gin­ning of 2017.

At the Mon­day, Dec. 12 reg­u­lar meet­ing, Cam­bridge City Coun­cil ap­proved the lease, with a slight amend­ment con­cern­ing when rent pay­ments will be made by Post 91.

Cam­bridge City Man­ager San­dra Tripp-Jones said that both par­ties are re­view­ing the draft lease lan­guage for a sec­ond time as it in­cor­po­rated some clar­i­fica­tions on in­sur­ance re­quire­ments and im­prove­ment ap­provals re­quire­ments.

“We are shoot­ing for ex­e­cu­tion by the first of the year, but it may take a few weeks longer,” said Tripp-Jones.

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

Post 91 is in need of a space for their or­ga­ni­za­tion as their own build­ing was se­verely dam­aged by a fire in May. The 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.

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 for ward 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.

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.

FILE PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Gov­er­nors Hall sits on a nearly 12-acre land par­cel at the Sail­winds Park port prop­erty along Hay­ward and Franklin streets on the Chop­tank River wa­ter­front in Cam­bridge.

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