N.B. Borden School Purchase & Sale Agreement Missing

After a Public Records Request failed to produce the purchase and sale agreement for the City of Fall River’s sale of the N.B. Borden School, the Preservation Society of Fall River has requested the City delay any demolition permit for the property until the document can be found.

The historic c. 1867 school at 45 Morgan Street was sold to current owner T.A. Restaurant by the City in 2012 along with several other vacant schools. The City’s requests for proposals included multiple protections in the conditions of sale that would ensure each redevelopment project was completed or the City was compensated.

A similar Public Records Request for the bid and sale documents of another historic school sold by the city at the same time — the c.1892 Osborn School at 160 Osborn Street — produced a similar request for proposals by the city and a purchase and sale agreement that included conditions of the sale like a project timeline, required documentation, and proven financials to complete the redevelopment.

Members of the Preservation Society’s Board of Directors appeared at the Feb. 18, 2020, City Council Committee on Real Estate meeting to ask that the City verify the N.B. Borden School purchase and sale agreement didn’t include the same conditions of sale as in the N.B. Borden request for proposals and the Osborn School purchase and sale agreement.

The Committee on Real Estate tabled the matter so city officials could search for the document.

Because the property is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Fall River Significant Structure List, the N.B. Borden School had a six-month demolition delay. However, the delay expired on Oct. 18, 2019, and the owner immediately parked construction equipment on site and began clearing out the warehoused trash inside the building.

At the risk of losing this historic 153-year old property and its over $800,000 of previously assessed value, the Preservation Society believes City Officials should give proper due diligence to the handling of Fall River’s historical real estate before irreparable damage is done to the public interest.

Do you think the N.B. Borden School should be redeveloped?

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