NORTH READING — A Special Town Meeting may be in the town’s future early in the coming new year to consider the purchase of property at 1 Central St., adjacent to Ipswich River Park.

Located near the intersection of Central and Chestnut streets, the property contains the single family home where the Wheeler family resided for decades. Land behind the home, which is now part of Ipswich River Park, was once farmed by the late Mr. Wheeler. In fact, the undeveloped portion of the property now used for overflow parking during major events and where the old barn is situated that currently is used to store town equipment once housed Mr. Wheeler’s farming equipment.

At Monday night’s Select Board meeting, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto described it as “an intriguing opportunity” given that the town already owns land on two sides of 1 Central St.

Select Board Chairwoman Liane Gonzalez explained that since the board is now in the process of reviewing “an opportunity to purchase a property on Central Street … we felt that the public should be aware of it.”

Gonzalez added that this opportunity was only recently brought to the board’s attention, therefore, she also wanted the public to know that “there is no price right now and there’s no real details. but it is something that we are discussing, so we felt we should be transparent.”

The board held an executive session prior to Monday night’s meeting under subsection 6 of the state’s Open Meeting Law to “consider the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body.”

Displaying a map of the area on the large screen in the meeting room, Gilleberto stated that the lot is “bounded by Central Street to the west, by a privately owned lot to the south, by the town-owned Recreation Center at 5 Central St. to the north, and by the Wheeler Barn property to the east, which is the gateway to Ipswich River Park.”

“We own property on two sides of this property so it is an intriguing opportunity that the Select Board is considering and will further be considering in the coming weeks,” the T.A. said.

“We know there has been a lot of discussion relative to the potential use of the currently owned land at the Wheeler barn property and the Recreation Center,” Gilleberto said, adding, “I think that those conversations are going to continue for weeks, months or possibly even longer. But the reality is that whatever the outcome of those conversations is I think the Select Board feels, and I feel, that having ownership of this contiguous property would only be to our benefit for whatever that future use might be.”

Gilleberto continued: “It’s a little different conversation than our last conversation about land acquisition over on Concord Street when the turkey farm came up for sale. We did not own contiguous land at that spot so that made it a little bit more challenging. It was a much larger parcel as well, in clearly a commercial area.”

While no firm date has been set for a Special Town Meeting yet, he said that they are “all hopeful and optimistic” that such an acquisition could be discussed on Town Meeting floor in January and that the date “should probably be known as soon as the next Select Board meeting in two weeks.”

“We are going to be up front with folks about this opportunity, which looks like a tremendous opportunity for the town,” Gilleberto said.

No other board members made any comments about it.