City May Issue New Request for Proposals for Master Developer Tremont Nail
At the Select Board meeting on January 25, member Peter Teitelbaum announced that the Wareham Redevelopment Authority had voted to ask the Select Board to issue a new request for proposals for a master developer for the Tremont Nail Factory property.
“They came back with a proposal that kind of changed the playing field,” Teitelbaum said. “They wanted a long-term lease that would involve a Town Meeting action and so on, so we decided to withdraw it and re-issue the RFP, so no one could say ‘I didn’t know this would be it’ …and to make the process a little easier for anyone who wants to submit an answer.
Teitelbaum later told Wareham Week that the city had to reissue the request for proposals in order to properly follow legal procedures for long-term leases – not because negotiations had failed with the Bentley companies.
Teitelbaum noted that Bentley Companies was the sole respondent to the original tender and said he expected the company to respond to the new tender. The city’s new request refers to a long-term lease of up to thirty years, with the possibility of renewing the lease for two further periods of thirty years.
“Hopefully we can finally start doing something with the property,” Teitelbaum said.
The Select Board will vote on whether or not to issue the new RFP at the next Board meeting.
For months, the city had been working to move forward with Bentley Companies as the lead developer who will redevelop the property. The Tremont nail factory was built in the 19th century. As recently as 2006, steel clipped nails were produced on site in the “steel building”.
Wareham purchased the Tremont Nail property in 2004 using Community Preservation Act funds, citing its historical significance to the city. Today the property consists of several unused buildings in various states of repair and disrepair.
In February 2021, Bentley Companies presented its initial vision for the redevelopment of the Tremont property. The first iteration of the Bentley Companies plan envisions the site with offices, retail establishments and a brewery or restaurant of some sort. The developer’s proposal also includes a waterfront community park, with a pier, boardwalk and kayak rentals.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with additional context.