Maher: More Research Needed on Proposed Southold Rd. Development

by | Oct 24, 2014

Submitted By Kevin Maher

I hope you will take a few minutes to read the information below regarding a significant major development that could impact the Pakachoag Hill Area and the finances in the town of Auburn.

This project has somewhat floated under the radar recently and the clock is ticking away. Please note there is an important meeting scheduled on Monday , OCTOBER 27, 2014. The Board of Selectpersons usually meet at 7:00pm. I would recommend verifying the time by calling 508-832-7720.

Sincerely yours,

Kevin Maher


It was reported at the last Board of Selectmen meeting that a developer from Holden will be purchasing the Post property located at the end of Curtis Street and along Southold Road. It should be noted that the developer has a excellent reputation and is well respected in the industry.

This project, which was filed with the Selectmen’s Office around August 12, 2014, was first presented to our Selectpersons at a public meeting on October 14, 2014.

The Town has 120 days from the time the owner files with the town (August 12, 2014) to act.

The Selectmen are scheduled to hold a meeting on October 27, 2014 regarding this item. It is important that you attend.

Project Overview-Chapter 40B Filing

Unfortunately, at this stage we are working with only conceptual plans. The actual layout and unit style(s) could change. Also, the number of units could decrease or increase during the permitting process. The current breakdown is;

• 25 Single family homes along Southold Road
• 190 Apartments on lower Southold Road (preliminary)
• 25% of the apartments are required to be low income rental units

The apartments will be comprised of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom units. Based on what was provided at the meeting approximately 40 units would be 1 bedroom and the balance would be 2 or 3 bedroom units.

Traffic – Curtis Street

Curtis Street is a typical suburban roadway. The project will clearly generate a substantial increase in traffic. The other access point of the proposed sub-division is via Southold Road to Greenwood Street. A project like this could create five to six trips per day per household. Using those estimates the project could generate 1,000 -1,200 trips per day. If you look at the roadway from Greenwood Street to Southold the common sense application is that the majority of the traffic will flow via Curtis Street.

Terms of Transaction

The Town could buy the property under the existing Purchase and Sales Agreement. The purchase is structured on a lot release basis.

If the town acquires the property and after the initial $1,000,000 paid at closing, they would have a loan of $840,000 at 4% for 5 years and an interest free loan of $1,025,000 for 6 years.

The payment schedule is below – this is the worst case scenario –

Phase I…… $ 1,000,000…..Due at closing
Phase II…. $ 840,000……Due 5 years from closing – 4% interest
Phase III… $ 1,025,000…..Due 6 years from closing – 0% interest
Total $ 2,865,000

If any of the lots are sold by the town in Phase II & Phase III during note term, the prorated share is required.

Income Generation

Phase I has 20 approved residential house lots. Phase II has 12 approved residential house lots. These 32 lots could be liquidated to offset. Raw lot values without engineering costs run in the range of $35,000 to $45,000 depending on location, improvements required and market conditions. The sale of just the current improved lots would generate in the range of $1,120,000 to $1,440,000.

The lot size on the existing Southold lots would have to be reduced 20,000sf as is allowed under current zoning, so as not to break the threshold requirements of 30% of the parcel than can be developed. The current sub-division plans could easily be amended to accomplish this task.

Cost To Schools

A project of this size will have a recurring cost once completed. I do not pretend to be a municipal budget person or have in-depth knowledge regarding school costs.

This is an estimate only and what we really need is for our municipal officials to provide us some guidance in this area. If the project generates an additional 100 to 125 students then the cost will be significant. If the cost per student is between $5,000 to $6,000 per annum, the low end cost would be an additional $500,000 to a high end cost of $750,000 per year. Some folks are representing we can’t afford the project, when in reality over a ten year period the project could cost us more than the actual acquisition costs.

What We Are Not Hearing From The Town Government

• Has there been an economic analysis on the Purchase and Sales as to the actual capital outlay to purchase?

• Has there been a study or work up on alternative developments for the parcel and what other options are available to the town?

• Has there been an impact study completed to determine the increase in school costs and the projected number of new students?

• Curtis Street is typically considered a side street in the town. Can the street handle hundreds of additional car trips per day?