Bedford Signs Purchase and Sale Agreement with US Coast Guard to Acquire Pine Hill Housing

Residents sharing ideas at the first of two design charrettes devoted to the Coast Guard Housing - Image (c) JMcCT, 2014 all rights reserved - Click to view larger image
Residents sharing ideas at the first of two design charrettes devoted to the Coast Guard Housing – Image (c) JMcCT, 2014 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

By Dot Bergin

It’s been a long ride but in the words of Cathy Cordes, town Moderator and former Selectman, “It’s a win for Bedford and it’s due to understanding how government works and [not giving up].  It’s the story of having a dream and wanting to see something good happen to this property.”

Selectman Margot Fleischman agreed. ” I’m beyond thrilled,” she said. “It’s a huge step towards bringing to life the town’s vision for this beautiful property. Sometimes we didn’t think we would ever get to this point, but four years of perseverance has really paid off. ”

A purchase and sale agreement was signed today, October 27, for the Town to acquire the 15 houses on Pine Hill Road, Mickelson Lane, and Lewis Road. The property is known colloquially as the Coast Guard Housing; many years ago military families did indeed live in the houses, but they have long stood vacant. A Request for Proposal for developing the property is expected to be released on Friday. It will be advertised widely, and several developers are already known to be interested.

More than four years ago, Cordes and Fleischman first explored how the town might acquire the property which had sat empty for many years. There were many obstacles and much negotiation over the years, as the property first had to be declared surplus and released to the General Services Administration.

A pivotal moment came at a Community Preservation meeting two years ago when Cordes insisted the Town should be prepared if the sale ever came to fruition. More importantly, she said, “we needed to know what the town wanted” in developing the property. Cordes, enthusiastically seconded by Gene Clerkin, suggested a design charrette. The Planning Board agreed, and in the spring of 2014 townspeople turned out in force for two charrettes.These were dynamic, hands-on events, facilitated by local architects who guided participants in exploring a variety of possibilities for the property, from cluster housing to cottage homes to apartments.  Out of the two charrettes came guidelines for prospective developers, reflecting the desires of the town.[Click to view the Executive Summary from the Charrettes] One person remarked that the charrettes were among the best events the Town has ever produced.

A major breakthrough came this year when the Town was allowed to negotiate directly with the Coast Guard.  Despite the slow progress, Cordes, Fleischman, Town Manager Rick Reed, the Planning Board, and others concerned with housing in Bedford have been persistent,

The Bedford Citizen has covered the ongoing Coast Guard housing story for almost 5 years, from the first suggestion in December, 2012 that the status of the property might be changing, through the most recent hints on October 14 that the next step in the process was imminent. We will follow this developing story with details of the RFP as soon as it is released.

December 19, 2012
Status of Coast Guard Housing on Pine Hill About To Change

October 9, 2013
Residents Crowd Selectmen’s Meeting to Discuss Coast Guard Housing

March 24, 2014
Vision and Planning Meeting on April 1 to Discuss Pine Hill Road Coast Guard Housing 

April 4, 2014
Residents Turn Out In Force For Coast Guard Housing Meeting

May 15, 2014
Charrette About Coast Guard Housing On Pine Hill Road Conclusion Tonight At 7 PM

May 22, 2014
Second Charrette on Coast Guard Housing: More Questions Than Answers

June 5, 2014
Selectman Review Status of Coast Guard Property

July 8, 2014
Fallen Trees on the Coast Guard Property Raise the Total Number of Damaged Houses to 10

July 23, 2014
Coast Guard Agrees to Work With Town on Disposition of Pine Hill Road Property

July 28, 2014
Community Perspective: Coast Guard Housing on Pine Hill Road

July 30, 2014
Planning Board Delighted by Progress on Coast Guard Property

August 11, 2014
Town Releases Executive Summary from Coast Guard Housing Charrettes

December 12, 2014
Planning Board Reviews Coast Guard Housing RFP

February 26, 2016
GSA Gives Town Green Light on Coast Guard Housing – Important Meetings Set for March 16

October 14, 2016
Housing Partnership Hears Update On Coast Guard Housing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

NewsMatch is here! Bring the news to Bedford and your gift will be matched by NewsMatch, local donors, Suzanne and Company, and Werfen. Donate to NewsMatch today!
Contact The Bedford Citizen: [email protected] or 781-430-8837

Share your enthusiasm for this article!
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

All Stories

What's Bedford Thinking? Which word from Merriam Websters notable words of the year most resonated most with your year in 2023? 

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
  • Junior Landscaping
Go toTop