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Still No Plans for Teele Square Fire Site, Says Planning Director

Worries about environmental contamination are a hurdle to selling the property, according to Teele Square's alderman, though he said there has been interest from potential buyers.

It was nearly a year ago that, during a freak snowstorm on Oct. 29, 2011, a commercial building at 1154-1164 Broadway in Teele Square suffered a major fire that resulted in the building getting torn down.

Now the site is a hole in the ground, and according to Somerville's director of planning there are no immediate proposals for rebuilding.

"No one has filed for an application" to build there, said George Proakis, Somerville's director of planning, speaking at the Ward 7 ResiStat neighborhood meeting Oct. 18.

Ward 7 Alderman Robert Trane, who represents the Teele Square neighborhood, said it's taken nearly a year for all parties associated with the property, such as insurance companies and banks, to settle the paperwork associated with the fire, which was determined to be accidental.

Trane said one offer on the property fell through, but the owner, JCCK Realty Trust, might have someone else who's interested in buying the site.

Buyers are wary of the parcel because it was the site of a dry cleaning business, Trane said. Dry cleaners have been known to cause soil contamination, which can force property owners to conduct environmental remediation under Massachusetts laws.

"That's the hurdle we have to get over here," Trane said.

The 0.29-acre parcel was put on the market in the spring without a stated asking price.

According to the city assessor's database, the property, before it burned down, was assessed at $911,300, with the land valued at $541,100.

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