By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — The General Services Administration is currently performing a Phase 1 “environmental characterization” report for Tarrant Lane and is expected to be finished by February 2015. Environmental characterization encompasses the study of a land’s geology, soil and possible contaminants.
“We hope to begin marketing the property in the spring of 2015,” said GSA spokesman Patrick Sclafani.
Tarrant Lane sits at the top of Hopkins Street and has a dozen 1,200 square foot single family homes on a little over four acres of land — all of them have been vacant for months.
Originally built as housing for families of the United State military and most recently for Coast Guard families, the property will go up for auction as a single parcel via public sale. The sale will be handled by General Services Administration (GSA) Project Manager John Dugan. (The land is currently owned by the federal government through the U.S. Coast Guard.)
Investors interested in developing the land can attend the auction on the appointed day and purchase it at an attractive price.
Last summer when the Daily Item researched the GSA website several lighthouses were listed for sale in Maine, a forest ranger station in New Hampshire and Butler Flats Lights in New Bedford but the Tarrant Lane property was not among the listings.
“The government will be looking to obtain fair market value for the property,” said GSA spokesman Patrick Sclafani, adding that the federal government is exempt from paying taxes on real estate, so no tax revenue has found its way into the town’s coffers.
At this time, it is not known what a prospective buyer might do with the property and whether the homes will be torn down and be replaced with condos or apartments similar to Richmond Vista on Summit Drive behind Tarrant Lane.
The current homes on this dead end street all have vinyl siding in various pastel shades — tan, pale yellow, green and blue. Each home has a living room, kitchen with appliances, two bedrooms and one bathroom plus a storage shed. All have been built on slabs and have no basements.
According to Atty. General Martha Coakley’s website, “Abandoned properties in residential areas create safety hazards, attract crime and lower property values.”
The Tarrant Lane area is patrolled by Wakefield police and so far no vandalism or other malicious acts have been reported.
Currently, the U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the property, including cutting the grass.