Agency pays $1.5 million for property

Published 11:17 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

Crossroads Community Services Board has agreed to purchase about 3 acres of land and an 11,000-square-foot office building for $1.5 million.

The news of the purchase comes more than two weeks after the board publically voted unanimously following an Aug. 23 closed session to accept a recommendation from its finance committee regarding a real estate matter — action that board leadership declined to comment on until Thursday.

According to a commercial purchase agreement dated Aug. 25, Crossroads is purchasing the property, at 161 Bush River Drive, adjacent to Crossroads’ offices along Route 460, from Tdr Enterprises LLC.

The agreement was signed Aug. 31.

“We’re overcrowded in the buildings right now that we’re at and so we’re going to expand,” said board Chairman and Lunenburg representative Sidney Smyth. “There’s some new programs that are coming down the pike.”

The purchase made “obvious” sense, Smyth said, because of its location.

“The good thing for us is … we’ve got an oversized well and septic system there. If there were an expansion, or if we have any problems with our property, we’ve got that huge septic system to tie into,” Smyth said.

The property was recently appraised at $1.67 million, according to documents produced by Smyth.

“Basically, our clinical services that are up the hill behind the admin building … We are on top of each other,” said Crossroads Executive Director Dr. Susan Banker. “I mean, it’s very difficult. We’ve been in need of space for several years. And we’ve grown some programs and, you know, it’s very difficult to add staff because they’re just isn’t space. So, actually, there’s been some discussion about the possibility of buying the building next door for several years and the opportunity came up  and we were just able to put it together.”

Baker said the initial plan is to move medical services into the top floor of the purchased building. “And that will better serve the public,” she said, noting the relocation would provide more private spaces and handicap access.

“We are looking at moving our emergency services into that space,” Baker said of the lower floor, “and then I would like to move into a new program called Open Access.”

Baker said the program would allow members of the public who need to be seen for mental health of substance abuse matters to be seen that day. She also said the Medicaid department is expanding its funding of substance abuse services.

“That will happen April through July of next year, and that will position us to be able to provide new services in that arena as well,” Baker said.

In addition to the office building, the property includes a smaller office building containing about 1,150 square feet of space, which could house a single program, Baker said.

Smyth, a realtor for Long & Foster Realtors, acted as the selling broker in the agreement, according to sale documents. He charged no commission and wrote the contract pro bono. “That was one of the negotiating things … So there’s no realtor costs at all. No commission,” he said.”