A Somerville developer’s dream to turn an 18-acre brownfield in Chelsea into a waterfront loft community that would set a new standard for sustainable urban living has ended.
Marketing for the 350-unit Forbes Park mixed-use development began six years ago and was touted as the region’s “greenest” and “most ambitious real estate project.” It was to offer energy-efficient “hybrid lofts,” powered by a wind turbine and solar panels, a place where residents would share a fleet of electric cars.
But the ambitious project to be built on the former site of a 19th century printing factory on the Chelsea River that proponents said would help make Chelsea the next hip place to be, ran into a series of snags that will result in a foreclosure auction that is set for July 25.
The notice published on Sunday by Paul Saperstein Co. of Holbrook said the mortgage foreclosure sale includes the 18- acre parcel bordered by water on three sides. The site is eligible for multifamily use under current zoning rules, the ad said. In addition, a partially completed four-story apartment building and a 240-foot, 600 kilowatt wind turbine is included in the sale.
Forbes Park LLC, an entity created by Somerville-based Urban Design and Development and its principal Blair Galinsky, bought the parcel in 2004 for $8.8 million. The company took out a first mortgage in 2006 for $36 million from Amalgamated Bank and a second mortgage from the New York lender in 2008 for $94.5 million.
Work ground to a halt in 2008,
during the height of the Wall Street meltdown. In 2010, the developer was fined nearly $20,000 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection over permitting and cleanup issues at the site.
But Jay Ash, Chelsea’s city manager, said while Galinsky was unable to make the project a reality, he has already spoken with several developers who think they can make it work. “It’s a story not unlike many others where bad timing made things unravel,” he said. “But I’m confident that a new development team will make that project happen.”
The pilot windmill set up by the Greater Cochin Development Authority at Marine Drive that collapsed on day one of its operation on Saturday will be reinstated by Tuesday, GCDA chairman N Venugopal said on Sunday.
“The contractor Kollam-based United Electricals will place back the blades and hold the trial run on Tuesday. Yesterday, it collapsed after the raft shaft got broken. We’ll go forward with the project,” he said.Upon its fixation, the height of the shaft will be reduced to be on the safer side, he said.
The Rs 3.90 lakh windmill is expected to generate 10 kw power, enough to run 100 lights across the Marine Drive walkway besides 16 MH (metal-halide) lamps.
“We haven’t paid the contractor so far. As per the condition, the wind turbine has to function properly for three months before we make the payment,” Venugopal said. The wind turbine was inaugurated by Hibi Eden MLA in the presence of district collector P I Sheik Pareeth on Friday. However, the blades came apart on Saturday morning. Read the full story at scfwindturbine web.