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Notre Dame sale authorized

May 06, 2009
City Council authorized the sale of the Notre Dame school and three adjoining properties to developers Monday night in a unanimous vote. The developers will pay $12,501 for the property, which they plan to renovate into an assisted living facility.

The developers, James Tamposi of Nashua and Dana Willis of Boscawen, gave a presentation to the council fleshing out some of the details of their plan.

"We're looking for a long-term investment here," Mr. Tamposi said.

Mr. Willis said the goal is to rehabilitate the property in a way that fits the neighborhood and maintains the character of the site, but at the same time turn the property from a burden to an asset.

The plan, Mr. Willis said, is to build between 28 and 32 assisted living apartments in the building, with centralized food preparation and care services. Mr. Willis and Mr. Tamposi would not be running the assisted living facility, he said, but instead they would either partner with or rent to another entity. When asked what sort of entity this would be, Mr. Willis said he wasn't sure yet, but he was looking for a low-risk partnership, not high returns.

"We're certainly not greedy," Mr. Tamposi said.

Mr. Willis said he wouldn't be against having a government agency in the building.

The renovation would be extensive, Mr. Willis said, from making the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act to an overhaul of the fire suppression system. But, Mr. Willis said, at the end of this process the building would house a taxable business that both brings jobs to the area and provides living space for elderly and disabled people.

Mr. Willis said the community college was an asset for any company looking to partner or rent from he and Mr. Tamposi, because it means there is a ready workforce to staff the facility. He also said the city needs an assisted living facility, because Berlin has an aging population and the nearest similar facility is in Lancaster.

Androscoggin Valley Economic Development Director Max Makaitis said he would be working with Mr. Tamposi and Mr. Willis on the financing for the project. One source of financing may be federal stimulus funds. Mr. Tamposi said the project was going to be a $5 million investment.

When asked about when the project would be completed, Mr. Willis could not give a specific answer. He said he'd like to be up at the school tomorrow, but the process was moving along slowly. The earliest date for getting work going is in the fall, he said.

There is an informational meeting scheduled for May 7 at 7 p.m. at St. Anne's Hall for people interested in the project.

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