Perry Schorr, the owner of Lester’s who offered the city $3.6 million last year for the building, pleaded with them to let him pay $5.6 million for it now at Wednesday night’s council meeting.
The council has chosen to sell the building to Bill Wolf Petroleum Corporation, a private investor who is offering all cash for the 1037 Boston Post Road property.
“We took all offers very seriously took a long time in this process, deliberated and it was unanimous and we thought at the end of day, with the all cash and certainty of closing, we wanted to go with this offer,” Mayor Douglas French said.
The city received eight offers earlier this month through the efforts of CBRE brokerage firm it hired last year to market the property. A CBRE representative explained that they chose Bill Wolf because of its price, all cash offer, expertise in real estate and dealing with environmental issues that could arise. The city will pay $224,000 for the broker fee.
Schorr spent about twenty minutes explaining to the council that he would have the financial backing, deal with any environmental issues that might arise, contributes positively to the community and deals with city hall and library visitors using his parking lot all the time.
The city was seriously considering Schorr’s offer last summer, but would have taken a $2.6 million loss on the property it paid $6.2 million for in 2006.
“You can imagine my level of frustration when I was told you would sell the building to someone else,” Schorr said. “I would have beat any bona fide offer by $50,000,” he said.
The council listened but said they thought long and hard and felt they had to go with an all cash deal.
Adam Ball, the private investor from Bill Wolf Petroleum explained that he had a check and signed lease with him and was ready to close as soon as possible. He said he was not opposed to continuing the lease with Lester’s and had planned to lease the space to a high-end retailer. Schorr started asking him about renting during the meeting and he said they could discuss that in a different forum. Ball also said they would modernize the building and construct a new store front.
The council will place the Purchase and Sale agreement on the agenda for its March 6 meeting.
“Hopefully the golf thing won’t be going on again,” Ball joked, having sat through about three hours of discussion about the RGC investigation. The council replied, “want to become a member?”
Who do you think the city should sell the building too? Please share your thoughts in the comments.