Here’s an idea that could (in theory anyway) help 2 of the major projects we have in Lowell.
Offer the Owner of the Land at 75 Arcand Dr. a land swap..that land for the New Lowell High School for one of the parcels in the Hamilton Canal originally identified for housing.
Then buy the building and businesses for $2,000,000 so they can build in the Hamilton Canal and assist in getting Electrical and Gas into the site.
The High School then becomes more viable for the downtown with the expanded site and lessens the need for any modulars while at the same time you are assisting a business to relocate into the Hamilton Canal district, keeping them downtown and in the city while also jump starting development in that district.
You eliminate the drawn out legal battle over eminent domain and remove the Council from having to vote to take away an existing business.
The relocated business would pay taxes in the new site even with a slight Tiff to offset the difference in value for the first 5 years.
It may not be the perfect solution and who knows if the owners of 75 Arcand Dr. would even consider it but there is nothing wrongs with at least having that discussion.
This seems like a golden opportunity to jump-start the Hamilton Canal project while making the decision to keep the high School downtown more viable and less objectionable by eliminating the need for temporary gym space or modulars.