Town Seeks New Proposals For South Sandwich Land

The board of selectmen hopes that a revised strategy will draw development to 56 acres of town-owned land in South Sandwich.

On Wednesday morning, the town will launch its latest request for proposals for the tract. The document will be available starting at 8:30 AM. Interested parties may request the document by calling town hall or sending an e-mail to assistant town manager Douglas A. Lapp.

Proposals are due back to the town by June 16.

Despite a number of attempts in the past, the town has failed to attract and reach agreement with parties who would develop the land.

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On February 4, the Tsakalos Realty Trust walked away from a potential deal to develop the tract.

After that deal fell through, the selectmen went back to the drawing board.

Following a series of executive sessions over the past two months, the board voted 5-0 in executive session last Thursday to issue a revised request for proposals for the land.

A key change: the town no longer will require parties to develop the entire tract, but will be willing to sell off chunks of the land.

As is widely known throughout Sandwich, the selectmen also no longer will require a developer to forgo three of the 56 acres to allow construction of a new branch for the Sandwich Public Library.

And the document also spends more time touting the advantages that the Sandwich community offers to potential developers.

James W. Pierce, chairman of the board of selectmen, said Tuesday that the new proposal ideally would draw several high-tech companies to the tract, each carving out a chunk in which to relocate or set up an additional location.

Mr. Pierce said that will mean the creation of higher-paying jobs for Sandwich residents, who would be able to be able to work in the town rather than need to commute off-Cape.

An alternative, the chairman said, would see a developer buy the entire parcel, and proceed to lease parts of the parcel to various companies.

The selectman said the town can offer incentives to high-tech firms such as its access to the OpenCape high-speed Internet infrastructure, designed in part to help the Cape better compete for that kind of business.

He said the town also can offer companies a lower commercial tax rate than they now face in the Boston area.

As for the proposed library branch, Mr. Pierce said three acres may not seem like much out of 56 acres, but the requirements attached to the construction of the branch required the positioning of the library parcel so as to provide visibility and access, affecting up to a total of 10 acres of development at the parcel.

This time around, selectman Frank Pannorfi said, the town from the outset can bring more to the table, given tract-related initiatives that the town already has pursued in areas such as zoning and potential sewer service.

Mr. Pannorfi said the ultimate goal of drawing development to the 56 acres is to build the town’s commercial tax base.

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