Mechanics Hall Committee

Background:

This committee was formed in response to the withdrawal of the purchase offer from Red Cardinal in the fall of 2022 and the lack of any responses in February 2024 to the subsequent issuance of a new and less restrictive Request for Proposals (RFP). The Selectboard sees three possible paths forward. They can issue a new, less restrictive, RFP seeking a commercial or mixed use application. They can issue a new, much less restrictive, RFP seeking any use application. Or, they can raze the building, leaving the site in an attractive state, and perhaps use the land to encourage development in that area of a commercial use that would be beneficial to the Town and its E Princeton neighbors. At this point, the Board would like to hear from residents about which path they prefer.

Mechanics Hall Committee Charge:

  • Work with the Board of Health to understand septic constraints. Reference filing to DCR on behalf of Red Cardinal which discusses septic limitations given proximity to wetlands.
  • Based on septic constraints, develop list of possible uses for the property, including offices, retail, and housing. Also consider razing the building.
  • Surveying of the Princeton community is encouraged.
  • If sale is the preferred option, discuss and recommend any restrictions to be placed on the sale of the property.
  • Discuss and recommend preferred method of sale: RFP or Auction
  • By August 31, 2024 report on the findings of the committee to the Selectboard.

Mechanics Hall Sale History:

A committee was formed in response to the vote at the May 15, 2018 Annual Town Meeting authorizing “the Board of Selectmen to sell and convey 104 Main Street, being approximately 0.306 acres of land, the so-called Mechanics Hall property … subject to the Selectmen’s decision on the recommendations of a committee, to be formed, and upon any other terms and conditions as determined by the Selectmen…” That committee recommended language to include in an RFP. Red Cardinal responded to that RFP but later rescinded their offer.

A subsequent RFP was issued for February 2024 that allowed mixed use applications and also allowed the building to be relocated to another site. No responses were received.

Membership

  • 5 voting members from the community (2 from E Princeton)
  • Non-voting liaisons from Advisory Committee, Board of Health, Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Selectboard may be assigned.
  • Terms to end 12/31/2024

Committee Members

NameTitleTerm
Ben Getchell

Member

12/31/24

Krista Ferrante

Member

12/31/24

Matthew Lindberg

Member

12/31/24

Louis DiNatale

Member

12/31/24

Roberta Westerman

Member

12/31/24