Exxon Mobil 95-acre site near to a sale? Interest peaking?

It could be game time for development at Exxon Mobil. (Photo by Joe Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

Reports of as many as 30 people being led about on the Exxon Mobil site by development experts, environmentalists and bankers last week indicates that this mighty remaining chunk of polluted land may finally be sold to a developer.

Sources who watched the movements of this interested crowd last Thursday on the sprawling, polluted former fuel storage and rail center site said they were told by several remaining Exxon Mobil employees that “this could be the real thing.”

Late last year, the 95 acre polluted land mass – the last remaining major league development site in the city – was apparently set for sale.

A purchase and sale agreement was signed by a major developer with local roots.

No price was mentioned at the time, but a development plan revealed the dream of several thousand units of housing, light commercial and industrial type development as well as open park space.

That effort to buy the site apparently failed for a variety of reasons.

Some sources claimed at the time the company seeking to develop the land discovered that the pollution represented too large a problem for the effort to go forward.

The developer pulled back from the deal.

At the time, the developer said they didn’t as much pull out of the deal as they pulled back from it to do more due diligence about the environmental problems and the cost of remediation.

Whatever, last week’s meeting of a group seeming to be interested in acquiring the property for development excited local officials.

Their public scrutiny of the site was apparently “a shot in the arm” for those interested and involved in getting a deal done for the 95 acres.

It comes at a time when the energy company Constellation across from the casino and hotel at the end of lower Broadway sold a 45 acre site for $25 million.

The belief at the time was that the Kraft Family will likely be building and or partnering to build a soccer stadium for the Revolution soccer team which the Kraft Family owns.

This would be a boon for the end of Broadway, and for the city in the shorter term, the sale of the 45 acres owned by Constellation, which was reported in the real estate bible, Banker and Tradesman, last week, presents a new and slightly more difficult challenge for the city.

The on the books valuation of the property has tanked, and so too will tax payments paid to the city as a result.

This will impact dramatically tax revenues for the period in which the property is cleared and redeveloped.

Tax revenues will be significantly lower.

This deficit will need to be made up with higher taxes on the city’s property list – both commercial and residential. However, the longer term prognosis for added valuation and taxes paid is over the top if both parcels are developed.

Leave a Reply