Fair Haven Health Eyes Expansion

The Fair Haven Community Health Care Center is one step closer to purchasing a foreclosed property of 342 Grand Ave. for $2,000. Now, all it requires is few more city approvals and hundreds of thousands of dollars for renovations.

A city review panel — the Property Acquisition and Disposition Committee (PAD) — approved the sale of the city-owned property to the center during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon in City Hall.

In addition to the foreclosed property on Grand Street, the committee moved to approve the sale of city-owned 59 Elliott St. for continued residential purposes and approved the acquisition of 310 Dixwell Ave., a commercial property formerly housing Walt’s Cleaners.

PAD’s recommendations head to City Plan Commission next month, the Livable City Initiative (LCI) Board of Directors after that, and the full Board of Alders before the sales of the two properties and the purchase of 310 Dixwell Ave. are complete.

The Fair Haven Community Health Care Center (FHCHC) currently occupies three buildings on Grand Avenue near to the site the center has been approved to buy.

The nonprofit may ultimately shell out an another $200,000 to rehabilitate and clean the building, according to Evan Trachten, LCI’s city acquisition and disposition coordinator.

FHCHC plans to remediate lead and asbestos as well as clear detritus flooding vacant rooms.

According to a July 13 letter from center CEO Suzanne P. Lagarde addressed to Frank D’Amore, LCI deputy director for neighborhood and property services, the group is committed to remaining in Fair Haven, where public transportation and adequate parking create an accessible medical practice.

“If we were to acquire the property at 342 Grand Ave., it would be an important step toward ensuring our ability to stay in our current location and expand our services,” wrote Lagarde.

While the health center has not finalized plans regarding the potential building’s use, Lagarde said it is likely the first floor would be dedicated to patient care while the second and third floors would serve as administrative spaces.

The city is looking to sell 59 Elliott St., a foreclosed home, to Gemma Lumpkin for $10,000. The committee was pleased to have a proposal given that no nonprofits expressed interest in the property. PAD often works with nonprofits to help dispose of property that the city acquires.

Carly Wanna PhotoThe committee discussed ongoing plans to establish a mixed-use development on Dixwell Avenue, which would include 310 Dixwell.

Carol and Kenneth Oliver previously owned the building that was home to Walt’s Cleaners before they passed away.

The city seeks to purchase this plot as well as an adjacent site at 777 Orchard St. for $150,000.

“We’re acquiring these parcels for the purpose of redeveloping the site,” said Trachten.

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posted by: 1644 on July 20, 2018  11:06am

Overall, it sounds like more property off the tax rolls, in a city that desperately needs more tax revenue.  The Grand Ave building actually has a lot of nice features inside, fireplaces, etc.  I hope they aren’t destroyed in “renovation”, but likely will be.

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on July 20, 2018  7:35pm

According to the assessor’s office, 59 Elliot had a 2016 appraised value of just under $109,000.  I suspect the house deteriorated during the foreclosure process. And I trust Ms. Lumpkin is a nice woman who will take care of the property. But why is the city proposing to sell it to her for a fraction of its value?  I’m not suggesting any impropriety, just questionable judgment on the city’s part.