Negotiations for Medford’s Proposed Elevated Housing Project Stymied
The agreement between the City of Medford and local developers to build ‘SkyBox” has come undone. ‘Skybox’ is the code name for a proposed 25-unit apartment complex to be built above a parking lot on Central avenue that received an enthusiastic response from the Medford Urban Renewal Agency last summer.
The 90-day exclusive negotiation between the city and developers Allan Sandler and Mark McKechnie ended December 19th.
The original proposal called for the city to retain ownership of the land, and the developers would have paid $1 for the “air rights” to build the residential complex. The developers asked the city to sell them the land which they would lease back to the city for up to 100 years.
Sandler, when outlining the numerous legal challenges to creating a project suspended above a parking lot, pointed out each column to support the complex would be considered part of a separate tax lot if they didn’t get ownership of the land.
The Board Chairman for MURA, City Councilor Dick Gordon, doesn’t feel it is in the best interests of the City for developers to own the land.
The city and the developers could still negotiate a new agreement.