Boston City Council’s Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation held a hearing Monday morning over several surplus parcels and transferring the custody, control and management of them over to the Property Facilities Commission including 48 and 50 Tileston Street.
Tileston Street was acquired by the city as part of the 2012 North Bennet Street School / Eliot School purchase swap. Although the Upper Eliot School opened last year, the Tileston Street properties is still vacant.
According to Donald Wright, Deputy Director of Real Estate Management and Sales, once the city council grants the transfer, the city will work with the North End community to see what they want to go in the vacant property. Afterwards, they will develop a RFP (Request For Proposal) to send out to potential developers.
“We want to engage with the community to develop guidelines,” he said. “Having that community input in the RFP helps focuses the responses we want to see.”
The city is expecting that some sort of community organization will take over the space. However, they do not have a set timeline on when they would like to release the RFP.
“Our plan is to move when the community is ready to move,” said Wright.
Wright indicated that the North End Music and Performing Arts Center is interested in the building. Councilor Michelle Wu asked if there was any chance that a private developer could end up occupying the space. Wright said while it was unlikely, they would consider it if they got a bid that was offering a very large sum of money for the area. However, he said if that did happen the community would still be involved in the process.
Dianne Royle, President of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center, said they are very excited about the prospect of moving into 48 and 50 Tileston Street. They are currently located near the Paul Revere Mall about 150 feet away from the vacant property.
“The music school has grown tremendously,” she said. “We are running out of space.”
The school currently rents classroom space in the North End and Charlestown.
The city councilors will vote on the transfer on the next city council meeting. They need two thirds of the city council to vote in favor of it to pass.