Troup says local investors’ bid on former Newcomb Hotel lot includes plans to build eight three-story townhouses

Newcomb Hotel lot 400 Maine

Quincy Mayor Mike Troup says a group of local investors recently bid on the vacant property where the Newcomb Hotel once stood and plans to build eight three-story townhouses on the lot. | File photo by David Adam

QUINCY — Quincy Mayor Mike Troup said Thursday a group of local investors recently bid on the vacant property where the Newcomb Hotel once stood, with plans to build eight three-story townhouses on the lot.

A five-alarm fire gutted the historic five-story Newcomb Hotel on Sept. 6, 2013. The city demolished the building and later cleaned up the property at 400 Maine. The property was on a list of 19 parcels of property the city recently advertised for sale. Sealed proposals were submitted for the purchase and redevelopment of the properties, many of which have gone through the fix-or-flatten process.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said one or two bids typically were received when previous property lists were made available. The window to accept sealed bids was from May 31 through June 8. Bevelheimer said the city received bids on 13 properties from six different groups.

“Just because there are 13 doesn’t mean 13 are going to make it all the way to the Finance Committee,” he said. 

Bevelheimer is going through the vetting process on the bids. The city is requesting a redevelopment plan with each property, with the stipulation that redevelopment work will be completed within one year from the date of closing. If a property receives more than two bids, the highest purchase price may not be the sole determinant in the city’s acceptance of a proposal.

“Some say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a plan,’ but they didn’t submit the plan,” Bevelheimer said. “We want to see the plan to make sure the plan you’re proposing fits on to this lot. A lot of the lots are small lots. We just want to make sure what they’re proposing works or that it’s code compliant.”

“I don’t want to sell a lot so somebody can have a garden next door, because (the city) doesn’t get anything back from that,” Troup said. “You have to put a structure on it, because once the structure is on that, then we’ll start getting property tax money back from that. Over time, and it may take years, the city will get money back to help pay for that (fix-or-flatten) demolition we had to do.”

Bevelheimer hopes to have a list of viable candidates to buy the vacant properties before the Finance Committee meets in July. 

Troup said the city received two offers on the Newcomb Hotel property — one was for $5,000, and the other was for $100,000.

“With (the $100,000 offer), there’s a rendering and a plan,” he said. “The buyers would like to build eight three-story townhomes on that property with off-street parking. There’s no retail. There’s no commercial. We still have to meet with the representatives of that group sometime right after the Fourth of July.

“To me, that looks promising.”

Troup said Quincy attorney Chip Owens represents the group interested in the Newcomb Hotel.

“That’s all I know at this point,” he said.

An attempt to contact Owens for comment was unsuccessful Thursday night.

Troup said the last offer the city received on the Newcomb Hotel lot was before he became mayor in May 2021. 

Troup also said the Quincy YWCA placed bids on several lots and believes it will acquire “at least two or three.” He said the YWCA plans to build low-income housing on those lots, which he didn’t identify. 

“I’m thrilled to see the YWCA looking at building additional affordable housing, but they didn’t have detailed plans, so we’ve asked to see more of their details,” Troup said. 

“Quincy still doesn’t have enough supply in any of our housing categories. With some of the other properties around town, people are finally taking a look at them and saying, ‘Gee, why wouldn’t I do this?’ We’ve got plans for a duplex on some of the lots. Others want to build a small single-family home. We’re getting a variety of proposals, but Quincy needs all the above.”

Troup hopes the process to finalize the sale of the vacant lots will be complete by August.

“I’m trying to go as fast as we can, but there is a lot of detail that we have to go through,” he said. “And I can’t do anything without (City) Council approval.”

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