Springfield looking to acquire former Friendly’s; eyes lot

SPRINGFIELD — The city is searching for to get by means of eminent area the previous Friendly’s cafe on Sumner Avenue for $1.125 million and the internet site as overflow parking for the adjacent Sumner Avenue University.

Metropolis Main Administrative and Financial Officer T.J. Plante apprised the Metropolis Council of the strategy at its Monday evening meeting.

The council wants to authorize the transfer of the invest in cost from a reserve account. The council took no action on the motion itself but sent it to a joint meeting of the Public Safety and Finance committees for even further dialogue.

Below the system of eminent area, a government may under some conditions consider non-public property and convert it for general public use, giving, as observed in the 5th Modification to the U.S. Constitution, the home proprietor gets just payment.

Just compensation is commonly defined as honest marketplace price as it would be assessed by a affordable consumer.

Designed in 1979, the Friendly’s — a 4,700-sq.-foot place — shut in 2018 as part of the chain’s continued downsizing. It sits on a 52,315 sq.-foot parcel at Sumner Road and Fort Pleasant Avenue.

The assets was acquired from Friendly’s Corp. by Springfield Realty Ventures, LLC of Norwood in September 2020 for $600,000.

It has given that been appraised by metropolis assessors as having a overall value of $722,000.

Plante mentioned the $1.115 million is the midpoint “more or less” among the assessed value and what the home homeowners had been asking for the assets.

The market appraisal for the site has developed appreciably in the two years given that Springfield Realty Ventures LLC obtained it.

Plante mentioned the city’s desire in acquiring the parcel for one particular reason: parking.

“We’re searching at it as parking, initially and foremost,” he said.

For a number of many years, even when Friendly’s was in company there, the Sumner Avenue University has made use of the whole lot as parking for faculty and workers, and for university student pickups and dropoffs.

When the assets was bought in 2020, the faculty no for a longer time had authorization to use the ton, Plante explained.

Faculty and workers had to obtain someplace else to park, but much more importantly, the pickups and dropoffs moved to Sumner Avenue, and that designed chaos and targeted traffic congestion on Sumner Avenue in each directions, he reported.

“If you’ve ever been down Sumner throughout pickups and dropoffs, it sort of will get a minimal messy.”

The metropolis is experiencing the prospect of university beginning in September with Sumner Avenue,

The College Section experienced negotiated with the proprietors to use the great deal on a month-to-thirty day period basis, but that expired on June 30 and was not renewed.

Without having any accessibility to the whole lot, Plante reported the everyday congestion at the start and shut of college could clog the stream of site visitors in the two directions on Sumner Avenue, just one of the city’s busiest roadways.

Traffic backups on Sumner Avenue west to Interstate 91 and east to “The X” could be a everyday event during the faculty calendar year, he stated.

The faculty could figure out other takes advantage of for the house, but right now the purpose is parking, he explained.

Ward 6 City Councilor Victor Davila, who signifies Forest Park, reported he has been obtaining calls from citizens concerned about the house. He also mentioned the Forest Park Civic Association has indicated they wish to understand a lot more about what the metropolis has in mind for the web site.

Of the present developing on the website, Davila stated “this is not just a building, it is an iconic building.”

The get of land using that was introduced to the council talks of preserving the previous restaurant room for use as a “virtual school” and for workspace and storage.

Plante stated he is “not married” to any thought for how the web page will be used, and he would go away it to the town growth workplace and to community council to explore probable utilizes for the house.

He mentioned he sees the invest in of the website entirely as a resolution “to the possible traffic nightmare we could have if we cannot have persons park there.”