Why is the Senior Center Building being warned for sale?

rendering of a refurbished Benn High
Why is the Senior Center Building being warned for sale?

Once the Benn High redevelopment is fully completed, and the senior center has moved to its new, larger space at the Benn High, the old building will be no longer needed. The value of the building will help go towards the cost of fitting up the new Senior Center and the property which would then be vacant can be redeveloped for private use and will be returned to the tax rolls. Whenever a sale of Town owned property is contemplated, a warning notice must be given to the public.
Zero municipal tax dollars are being used to fund the development of the Benn High project. A months long public process on how to spend ARPA funds, resulted in the Benn High project being selected as a preferred project for those federal dollars. The project puts a blighted vacant building back into productive use, while providing needed housing (including 17 affordable units), a gymnasium, exercise rooms, an expanded Senior Center, and an expanded Meals on Wheels – all community priorities.

The project fits perfectly with numerous grants and federal tax credits. As a result, this public/private partnership with Hale Resources, LLC, adds up to over $29 million dollars that will be used to redevelop the building. Our leveraging of those ARPA funds and the transfer of the value of the Senior Center (once it is no longer needed) results in a 10-fold return on our total investment of $2.9 million. 

Quick Facts:
  •  Amount of municipal tax dollars being spent on the Benn High Project redevelopment: $0
  •  Amount of ARPA funds (federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act) for construction: $2,000,000
  •  Value of the old Senior Center building that is being replaced: $400,000
  •  Other ARPA funds spent on pre-development and fit up costs: $500,000
  •  Total Benn High Redevelopment Project Cost: $29+ Million
  •  THIS MEANS: By investing $2.9 million in ARPA funds and including the value of the old senior center when no longer needed, we are getting $29 Million of private and federal investment dollars to return this historic building to productive use AND to the tax rolls.
  •  Currently the Benn High is on the tax rolls at $146,000. The value on the tax rolls after redevelopment will be around $8 million. 

FULL DETAILS on all costs, studies, plans, are on the town’s website located here.

 If you have any questions or comments, we encourage you to reach out to us!