Engine House At Holyoke

by Laurel | February 17th, 2012

16 February 1913

Value of the High Street Site

A Different Auction Plan Might Have Brought More for the City Property

After years of discussion over the removal of the High Street engine house and the Mt. Tom engine house to other locations, active preparations have been started to secure new sites for both these houses, and the past week bids have been asked for the sale of the sites. There has been considerable discussion over the method pursued in attempting the sale of the property, as was to have been expected, and there is little doubt that there would have been criticism whatever action had been taken. It is possible that in the calling for sealed bids for the price that the bid finally accepted would not reach the amount which would have been reached at a public auction, and it is also possible that just as high an offer will be received. In the case of an auction a minimum would have to be set, and under the present arrangement if the bids are not high enough they can be rejected. The statement that if a fair price is offered the sale will be made will tend to cause those submitting bids to make their offer as high as they care to go, for if they give a low bid, the chances are that someone else will get the property.

Just what the High Street engine house is worth is a question which seems to be viewed differently by different people. The values on High street have appreciated greatly within the past five years, and the site of the engine house should bring a good figure. It is claimed that an offer of $68,000 has been made for the property recently, and the general opinion seems to be that the person securing the property will have to bid over $65,000 and that bids between $65,000 and $75,000 will be made. Were it not for the fact that cash has got to be paid for the property at once, there would seem little doubt but that the bids submitted would be higher, as more money could be borrowed on the property at the end of two years time than could be borrowed immediately after the sale. The reason that cash is demanded at once is that the city will use the money from the sale in erecting the new engine house, and will in this way be saved from borrowing any large amount for the erection of the new building.

The proposed site for the new building, which is opposite Hampden park on Elm street, seems to be about as good a one as can be expected. The location is a good one, and the price to be paid for the land is not exorbitant. It is probable that there will be some criticism over the site selected, for there would be some criticism in any event, but the city will secure a good site for a moderate sum of money. The effort which it is rumored will be made to have the city take the corner at Hampden and Maple street would not seem to have much power back of it, as the corner would be little if any better than the proposed site, and the price to be paid for land would be much higher. Just what will be offered for the Mt. Tom engine house seems largely a matter of conjecture. The Mt. Tom house backs up to the railroad, and it would make an excellent location for light manufacturing, giving railroad facilities, and will probably be secured with this purpose in view.

From The Springfield Republican.

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