July 11, 2012 – The City of Springfield today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking developers interested in purchasing and redeveloping 1600 Main Street. The building had been known as the “Asylum” nightclub prior to the City acquiring the building in August, 2009.
The City has completed significant renovations including asbestos and environmental remediation, demolition of 2/3 of the structure, development of a new 20-space parking area, new roof and upper story windows, new boiler, and has installed sprinklers throughout the entire structure. The building footprint is approximately 6,000 square feet now with a full basement and mezzanine space that bring the total square footage to approximately 13,600.
“The City has taken this property which was often a nuisance to the downtown and had suffered from disinvestment and has repositioned it as an excellent opportunity for a private developer or business,” said Kevin Kennedy, Chief Development Officer. “We’re hopeful the private sector will recognize the unique opportunity of Main Street frontage with dedicated parking in the rear.” The city will benefit by attracting private investment, jobs, and returning the property to the tax rolls.
Historically, the building was known as the “Enterprise Building” when built in the 1930’s and served as a department store for much of its early life before becoming the state’s employment services location. In recent years it had served as a rave nightclub and became subject to police calls, neighborhood complaints, and regulatory violations. The building sat vacant for several years prior to the Springfield Finance Control Board and City of Springfield completing the acquisition.
The minimum bid for the property will be $400,000, in order to recapture state grant funding that was utilized towards the demolition and remediation work.
“It’s another important piece of that Northern end of downtown. MassDevelopment completed 1550 Main Street and it’s fully occupied. WFCR is planning their move from Amherst to the Fuller Block,” said Kennedy. “New England Farm Workers have assembled nearly two city blocks with plans to refurbish the Paramount Theater. Union Station is moving forward into construction. There is a lot of positive energy happening in that part of downtown.”
1600 Main is located across Fort Street from The Fort restaurant, named by Gourmet Magazine as one of just 20 “legendary restaurants” in America. The property is also directly across Worthington Street from MassDevelopment’s 1550 Main Street development and City Stage performing arts theater.
Interested parties should contact the City of Springfield Office of Procurement at 413-787-6284 or visit www.comm-pass.com.