MANCHESTER — The mayor and aldermen have signed off on a preliminary deal to sell the old police headquarters for $875,000, less than half the amount sought when the property was first put on the market two years ago. Proceeds from the sale will also be offset by an estimated $205,000, the amount the city expects to spend to reroute fiber cables at the Chestnut Street building and other work associated with preparing it for the sale. The purchase and sale agreement was approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its meeting on Tuesday, after being reviewed with attorneys behind closed doors. The aldermen also approved spending the $205,000 to prepare the property for the sale. The state of New Hampshire is to fund the removal of an underground storage tank at the site, at a cost of $85,000.
The buyer is Tranquility Holdings LLC, an entity established by Candia businessman Francis Rich. According to Mayor Ted Gatsas, Rich is working on the deal with the Grossman Companies, the Massachusetts real estate development firm that had been in talks to buy the building for around $1.3 million. That deal fell through in March.
Rich could not be reached for comment.
The latest agreement won’t be finalized until the conclusion of a due diligence period, with a closing date no later than the end of the year.
The police station was first put on the market in the summer of 2012, ahead of the completion of the new police headquarters as part of the $43 million Municipal Complex. The initial asking price was $2.1 million. Officials also discussed a figure in the range of $1.2 million to $1.6 million for the building as is, with the city bearing no expense for any changes to the structure.
Criticism of the decision to sell the building mounted as it languished on the market and the city had to set aside funds for the upkeep of the building.
Gatsas on Wednesday said that he always felt the $2 million asking price was inflated, and that $875,000 was a “fair price.” “I think the sooner we can let it move forward and get it on the tax rolls, the better off we are,” he said.
Gatsas said he wasn’t sure what the prospective buyers had in mind for the building, but he said his understanding was that they did not intend to raze email@example.com