Northampton prepares to sell old water department building

  • The City of Northampton is preparing to sell the old Water Department building at 237 Prospect Street. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 8/29/2019 10:56:14 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The city is preparing to sell the old Water Department building at 237 Prospect St., and a neighboring Jewish congregation is expressing interest in buying it.

Earlier this year, the City Council authorized the property to be surplused to the care and control of the mayor. It further authorized the mayor to sell the building at no less than fair market value and, if sold to a nonprofit, enter into a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the buyer.

“This will be the fourth city building that I will have sold during my time as mayor,” Mayor David Narkewicz said.

The other three buildings have all been schools: the Florence Grammar School building, the Feiker School building and the South Street School building.

The Florence Grammar School was sold to the Gougeon family, while the Nonotuck Community School bought the Feiker School and the Northampton Community Music Center bought the South Street School. PILOT agreements were signed with the latter two buyers.

Closing on the sale of the South Street School occurred this month, with the 139 South St. property selling for $205,500 to its long-term tenants. The Water Department building was built in 1917 and has an appraised value of $777,2000, according to property records on file with the Northampton Assessors’ Office.

Although no one currently works out of it, the Prospect Street building still contains Water Department equipment and is used for parking by the department. The last of the Department of Public Works’ employees left the building in 2018, the mayor said.

As for interest in the property, Narkewicz said the city has received a number of communications from nearby Congregation B’nai Israel.

“They’re very interested in acquiring the property,” the mayor said.

Narkewicz said a storage building is being constructed at the city’s water treatment facility in Williamsburg to take over the Prospect Street building’s storage functions.

“That building is literally under construction as we speak,” he said.

Once the storage building has been completed, Narkewicz said, a request for proposals for purchasing the Prospect Street building will be released by the city, likely in mid-September.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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