TRANSART is a not-for-profit group that is pursuing the property on Henry Street for their location of an African-American Culture Centre. This past Wednesday, Greer Smith, representative for the group, showed up for the Finance Committee, only to find the needed documents and tax issues had not been satisfied by the current owner.
Jennifer Schwartz still owns the building and cannot hand over title until the council receives and accepts the PILOT agreement from the TRANSART group. That is negotiated between them and the Mayor. Sottile is out of the area until next week.
The Committee offered the group an additional 60 days extension to wrap up the remaining details, but with patience waning, this will be the last reprieve for the parties to settle.
The council has seen little progress with the property since the current owner has had it in her possession. We were looking for signs that there was structural investment and weatherproofing in the two years since Jennifer has been the caretaker of this Historic Designated property.
The Mayor’s task force still mows the grass and I collect the strewn debris along the front and side.
So, time will tell. Will Jennifer get the taxes paid in full? Will the PILOT meet the council’s needs? Will TRANSART finally walk away when they’ve tired of the empty promises? Maybe we should give them the Everet Hodge Center.
What do you think??