It’s a ‘go’ for harborfront property purchase: options under consideration for citizens’ enjoyment

November 8, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer

The Harbor Development Committee is already hard at work considering potential uses for the 30 Summer St. waterfront property recently purchased by the town.

Following Town Meeting approval authorizing but not requiring the Select Board to purchase the parcel,  board member Joseph Fisher announced last night that the expected closing date is within a week to 10 days.

“Pursuant to Article 27 of the 2023 Annual Town Meeting, we have done our due diligence on the property and are satisfied that it meets the needs of the town and that the environmental issues [related to the fact that there once was a gas station on the site] have been looked at and addressed,  and the board is moving forward with the transaction,” he said.

Town Administrator Tom Mayo said town officials are “excited” about the $1.25 million purchase. “We will continue to evaluate the options for the best use of the site,” he said. “We will keep working with the HDC and also consider possibilities as they relate to economic development and the downtown area.”

These are “exciting times for the harbor,” Select Board member William Ramsey said.

This is “a very important piece of real estate for the town,” Fisher said. “It’s right on the water and fits with the town’s plans for the harbor. It’s fortunate we have this opportunity.”

Chair Liz Klein is looking forward to continuing to work with the HDC to find the best option “for the enjoyment of generations of Hingham residents.”

HDC Chair Marco Boer thanked the Select Board for their efforts to bring the purchase to reality. “This is going to be an interesting process to see how we can best make the building [that sits on the property] accessible to the widest range of citizens,” he said. “The HDC is already thinking about various constituents who might have an interest in partaking of the use of the building. It will be an ongoing process” that won’t happen overnight.

“In my opinion, access to public bathrooms is the most important piece,” Boer said, because there are currently no public restrooms in the area.

Fisher extended thanks to Ferd Lucas, who owns the property, “for making this opportunity available to the town. He came to us, recognizing how important [the property] is to the town.” A bench in honor of Ferd and his wife, Linda, will be placed on the property once the closing has taken place.

The bench is a gift from the Hingham Harbor Development Committee, Hingham Maritime Center, the Hingham High School rowing and sailing teams, and the Town of Hingham thanking them for their  generosity over the years by donating water and parking from their Gallery 360 office at 30 Summer St. to all of the participants who have used Barnes Wharf for more than two decades, benefitting all of the above organizations.

This is one of only three remaining privately-held parcels along the harborfront.

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