Spencer enters purchase agreement for Park Plaza
By Rebecca Rider
SPENCER — The town of Spencer is one step closer to repurposing an old shopping center for town use.
The Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday in a called meeting to enter into a purchase agreement with PI REO LLC, the company that owns Park Plaza.
Built in the 1960s, the shopping center just off Salisbury Avenue has been mostly empty for decades. The town wants to resolve its own cramped quarters by renovating the space.
The proposal would have the town purchase 20,000 square feet of the large property, in addition to an outparcel bordering Fifth Street.
Roughly 12,000 square feet of the space would be turned into town offices and a new police headquarters. The other 8,000 square feet would be available for lease.
“It actually falls in line with our space needs study that we did in 2015,” Town Manager Reid Walters said. “… It permits people sitting here 20, 30 years from now the chance to grow into it, as well.”
The town has already completed a Phase I environmental study on the property, and a Phase II environmental study began Monday.
On Tuesday, the town board unanimously voted to pay $668,000 for the 20,000 square feet and the outparcel.
The purchase agreement will allow the town to withdraw from the deal should anything be found wrong with the property.
“It’s pretty straightforward and standard,” Walters said.
The town board also passed a resolution to declare its intent to reimburse town funds spend for design services from loans procured for the project. Walters said the town could choose not to do this, but passing the resolution would give it the option to do so in the future without taking more action.
“It just gives us the option to do it if we want to do it,” he said.
The town board also voted unanimously to appropriate as much as $240,000 for design services.
After the meeting, Mayor Jim Gobbel said he is pleased that the project was taking off.
“They’ve got the ball rolling now,” he said.
Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.