SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 10, 2013

Council again mulls annex lease

SALEM — The lease of 120 Washington St., an issue that has stirred controversy in the past, will come before the City Council tonight.

Mayor Kim Driscoll hopes to sign a three-year lease of the City Hall Annex at 120 Washington St. To do so, she’ll need a two-thirds vote of the City Council, or eight councilors.

The board will convene for its first regular meeting of 2013 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 93 Washington St.

The city has taken one-year extensions of its lease of 120 Washington St. after Driscoll’s proposal to sign a five-year deal with the building owner was rejected by the City Council. At the time, Driscoll said the five-year lease would save the city $42,000 per year.

The issue came to a boiling point in March 2011, when the council invoked a rule that blocked the mayor from addressing the council in support of the lease.

The annex, a stone’s throw from City Hall, has housed various city departments, including licensing, planning and community development, since 2001. The city’s initial, 10-year lease of the space expired in February 2011.

This fall, the city requested proposals for annex office space but received only one reply: RCG, the landlord of 120 Washington St. The request sought a 20,000- to 25,000-square-foot space located 700 feet or less from City Hall.

Signing the proposed three-year lease for 120 Washington St. would save the city $65,000 in rent and give officials time to find a new, long-term office space, Driscoll said.

City-owned land downtown, vacant court buildings on Federal Street or other properties could all be possibilities, she said.

“I don’t think anyone has a desire, myself included, to stay at 120 Washington St. long-term,” Driscoll said. “I’m proposing a three-year lease to (have time to) review all the possibilities. ... We do need to get moving on it — take advantage of savings while we explore alternatives.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Comments Tracker