Selectmen: Tremont Nail plans may usher in 'decade of progress'

By Lydia Goerner | Jun 27, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Town Administrator Derek Sullivan delivers an update on the Tremont Nail Factory District plans.

After a "decade of rot" at the Tremont Nail Factory District, Selectmen said the historic property is now primed to become a commercial and artistic hub, but it's going to take a community effort.

After a plan was unveiled May 31 for Tremont Nail, including space for artists, exhibits and concerts, many Wareham residents supported the plan. Now, Chair Peter Teitelbaum said on Tuesday he is working on the foreword for the final feasibility proposal which should be finished in the next couple of weeks.

The final feasibility study will produce a blueprint for the town to find a private master developer for the property or for the town to act as the master developer, Teitelbaum said. It is also a precursor to obtaining additional environmental assistance and cleanup from MassDevelopment. Additionally, it impacts how involved environmental cleanup will be, as different uses of a property require different levels of remediation.

“There’s been a decade of nothing happening there,” said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan of the 7.2-acre property.

Sullivan said that after two public meetings discussing the plan, he hopes Wareham residents will be satisfied with the final proposal.

“There’s been plenty of opportunity for people to step up on this,” Sullivan said. “I don’t want to see them step on it now.”

Teitelbaum emphasized that the Tremont Nail Factory is not in the historic district, so no historic restrictions would apply. The property is located on Elm Street and has been owned by the town since 2004, purchased with Community Preservation Act funds. Since this purchase, the property has suffered and few have visited the eight buildings on the property.

Wareham was awarded $50,000 from MassDevelopment at the beginning of the year to study uses for the site. Town officials hope it will be restored to a lively destination that can be enjoyed by Wareham residents and tourists.

“We’ve had a decade of rot, let’s have a decade of progress,” Sullivan said.

The final feasibility proposal will be available through the town website after it is completed in the next few weeks by Union Studio, the consulting firm hired by MassDevelopment for the project.

Comments (8)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 27, 2017 23:37

On a positive note, the latest plan from May 31st spun my opinion and caused me to eat a little crow.  It sounds pretty good!


On a realistic note there are two things on my mind:

  • First, the majority of the site and structures are in a flood zone. We are due for a hurricane.  Aside from the office building on the highest point, it will all be under water in a modest coastal flood.
  • Second, the entire site relies on a failing dam/bridge.  Replacing the dam/bridge is a significant and legally complicated project that must be complete before anything else.

Posted by: totellthetruth | Jun 28, 2017 07:01

WBTS: third; the ground is polluted with chemicals like arsenic and other nasty compounds used in the "pickling" of steel.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 28, 2017 07:19

That's right.  Three things.  I forgot about the pollution.  Thanks.

Posted by: Rosebud | Jun 28, 2017 10:34

What is the feasibility of keeping the bridge as "pedestrian only?"  It would make a nice area if the water cleaned up.  Just a thought....

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 28, 2017 11:38

Rose, that's not a bad idea.   We have all gotten used to not being able to drive through there. You don't know how many times I accidentally tried when the bridge/dam first closed! Plus it's too late to save the Old Country Store.  Closing the dam/bridge really did them in. Keeping it for pedestrians at this point does expand the recreation area of the new use and definitely keeps it safer because through traffic wont be flying by. However, the dam part of the structure is at risk of failure regardless.  Pedestrian or cars above has little bearing on that problem. There was an article a while ago about the risk posed on the downstream neighborhood, etc.  It wouldn't be pretty if that son of a gun lets go!

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Jun 28, 2017 19:57

"Teitelbaum emphasized that the Tremont Nail Factory is not in the historic district, so no historic restrictions would apply."


Is this true?  Even if not in the historic district, weren't CPA funding used for historic preservation of the site?

Posted by: Rosebud | Jun 28, 2017 22:02

WBTS:  thanks for your response and information.

Posted by: bob | Jun 29, 2017 06:58

WBTS,I look at it the same way...CPA FUNDS to be used for historic preservation,affordable housing,outdoor recreation and open space,well I don't see see any of that happening here in how many years..I guess our so call leaders have fleece the taxpayers again ,for there own pet project... Thats turn into a hazard waste dump...

If you wish to comment, please login.