On Wednesday, October 9th, 2019, the Town of Bristol announced the proposed sale of its public property at 6-40 Gooding Avenue to Gooding Realty Corporation (GRC) for $2.8M.
Commonly known as the Bristol Shopping Center, this 10.3-acre commercial property is located at the southeast corner of Hope Street (Rt. 114) and Gooding Avenue. In 1958, the Town of Bristol signed a 99-year property lease with GRC, which has since developed the land for general business use.
As a condition of its current lease agreement, the Town of Bristol was required to renegotiate the rental price of the property with GRC in 2018. During negotiations, GRC expressed interest in purchasing the property. Under normal circumstances, the Town of Bristol would hold a public offering. However, because there are still 38 years left on the lease agreement, the Town of Bristol was unable to put out a bid for the property. The tentative sales agreement, which was negotiated by members of the Bristol Town Council and Town Administration, includes several conditions regarding site upgrades such as landscaping, parking lot and building improvements.
“I believe this proposal has several long term benefits for the Town,” said Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente, “Under private ownership, there should be increased investment, improved appearances, and additional tax revenue generated. There will also be new dedicated public parking for commuters and volunteer firefighters.”
Over the past decade, the Town of Bristol received $10,000 per year in rental income. With the sale of the property, 6-40 Gooding Avenue would return to the tax rolls and be required to pay annual property taxes based on the assessed value of the land and buildings.
Proceeds from the proposed sale would be placed into a Town restricted fund, where it can accrue interest and be allocated towards specific projects by the Town Council.
“Our vision is that this newly created fund will help support some of Bristol’s long-term capital projects,” said Town Council Chairman Nathan Calouro.
The Town of Bristol will be holding a public hearing on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, at 7:00 PM in Bristol Town Hall (10 Court Street). At this meeting, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide input on the proposed sale of the asset. Individuals who wish to submit comments before the hearing can do so through the Office of the Town Clerk at 10 Court Street Bristol, RI 02809.