By LISA CAPOBIANCO
As the Memorial Boulevard Cultural Center project moves forward, so does the possibility of moving City Hall.
Recently, D’Amato Realty and Lexington Partners teamed up for a proposal that involves moving City Hall to 10 Main Street, which they acquired several months ago.
Martin Kenny, the developer and owner of Lexington Partners and Kyle Meccariello of D’Amato Realty recently made a presentation to the Joint Board, which has yet to take action on the proposal.
“We saw the value of this building in becoming almost whatever the best use would be,” said Meccariello.
Built in 1918, the five-story building provides an open landscape that is surrounded by windows. The remodeled building also provides 186 parking spaces
“It’s a much more user-friendly building for customers and employees…because of all the natural light that comes in,” said Kenny.
Under the proposal, all city departments that are currently in City Hall would move to 10 Main Street.
The proposal also includes an addition, which would house the Council Chambers at ground level.
In total, the building would be 69,000 square feet.
“It’s an identifiable building. It has a Main Street address. It’s iconic from what it was,” said Meccariello.
While they looked at several different uses for the building, Kenny and Meccariello said timing of the proposal made sense, considering the ongoing Memorial Boulevard Cultural Center project.
Kenny and Meccariello proposed having the Board of Education and Youth Services located in the cultural center.
Calling the theater a great idea, Meccariello said this would allow the city to combine four current buildings into two.
“We’re thinking outside the box,” said Meccariello. “We’re thinking as taxpayers, as local business owners, and trying to make a win-win situation for everybody.”
“Our parking lot is literally 700 feet from that location,” added Kenny. “Our parking lot can also serve the theater.”
If city officials decide to move City Hall to 10 Main Street, construction is expected to be completed between 12 and 15 months, said Kenny.
After that, Lexington Partners would take over the current City Hall building to find an alternative use for it. If an alternative use cannot be identified within five years, the city has the option of taking back control of the property.
Kenny said flexible financing options would be available to the city with no up-front public debt.
“We’re going to offer the city not to front the money, and we can do a long-term lease,” said Kenny.
“We would fund the construction,” said Meccariello. “We would then do a lease with the city. At any point in time, they can purchase the building.”
If the city decides not to move forward with the proposal, added Meccariello, the marketing effort will continue to find the best use for 10 Main Street whether it ends up becoming a corporate headquarters or a mixed-use development for residential and commercial purposes.
“It could be almost anything,” said Meccariello.