Wareham Community Television bids $125,000 for old Town Hall

Selectmen agree to enter into negotiations with the cable access station
By Matthew Bernat | Jul 24, 2018
Photo by: Bill Whelan The former Town Hall, now home to Wareham Community Television, will likely be sold to the TV station as it was the only bidder for the property.

The old Town Hall at 505 Main St. will likely be purchased from the town by its current tenant, Wareham Community Television. The cable access station was the sole bidder, offering to buy the historic property for $125,000.

On Tuesday, Selectmen agreed to enter into negotiations with Wareham Community Television.

Voters at last year’s April Town Meeting authorized the sale with the understanding that Wareham Community Television would likely purchase the building. The town currently has a 10-year lease with Wareham Community Television, which would have remained in place had someone else placed the highest bid.

“Whoever would purchase it could not convey it to anyone else, it could only be returned to the town,” Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said after the authorization was approved.

Funds from the sale will be put in the town’s sale of real estate account.

Steve Ruiz, Wareham Community Television's director, previously said plans to put a 1,800 square-foot addition on the building. No taxpayer money will be used to build the addition, as all the funds will come from Wareham Community Television.

The station has used the building since 2009. In that time, the building has been gutted and rebuilt.

“A lot of people have a concern that they would be losing a historic building,” Ruiz said. “But the town will never lose the property. If it gives it to us, it never gets lost.”

The property is in the historic district, so Ruiz said he didn’t anticipate many other bidders trying to obtain the property because of restrictions on the building. He said plans for construction will maintain the integrity of the building and the New England style of architecture.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 26, 2018 14:21

If they have money for a 1,800 sq. ft. addition, then they must have enough money to Bid a Fair-Market Value Price for the Entire Facility and existing Parking area. The Parking area alone is worth $100,000, so get with it and Send the property back out for additional Bids from the entire REAL-ESTATE Arena. This whole thing is starting to smell like some cronyism may be happening behind closed doors.

Posted by: bruce gannon | Jul 26, 2018 15:24

Fred, do you pay asking price when you buy a house or car? No you offer what you think the product is worth. The sale was open to any bidder, WCTV who does have a vested interest in the property bid what they saw was a fair price given what would have to be done to bring it to the necessary size and equipment for operation. If there were no other bidders should they have paid more? Would you?

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 26, 2018 17:33

Town of Wareham 2018 Appraisal and Assessment for The Old Town Hall, 505 Main Street:

land = $142,500

improvements = $240,000


total = $382,500



Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 26, 2018 17:44

Mr. Gannon: Your explanation does not do a very good job of EXPLAINING why it is okay for the Town of Wareham and its Taxpayers to accept an Offer that is below Market Value ??? You seem to think it is Okay for Wareham Community Television to Cheat us out of any dollars that are due to us. By any chance are you responsible for the really bad Smell that is coming from that Bid-Process.

Posted by: WWreader | Jul 26, 2018 18:29

Hey  Phredzzz what’s your problem? Nothing is ever good enough for you. Better for WCTV to find another building to buy and the town keeps another non tax paying property on its rolls? Property taxes are based on assessment. Try to keep up. Oh, and the town needs WCTV. This sale is good for them and the town. Look at the positive for a change.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 27, 2018 06:59

I see what the man is saying..

He should have bought it for 150K.

Posted by: Phredzzz | Jul 27, 2018 13:04

To WWREADER: I am very clear-minded about your feelings that it is Okay for Mr. Gannon and probably others to think that it is okay for the Taxpayers to be Screwed by the Bid-Process. Since you did not understand the point I was trying to make, here's a second try. I think we as Townspeople would do a lot better by handing-off that Property to the Real-Estate Market for a Sale that does not involve the Emotional attachment which appears to be Clouding the judgment of many of our concerned citizens. What bothers me the most is how any Taxpaying citizen of Wareham thinks it a good idea to sell Town Property at a price BELOW Market-value. We should NEVER settle for second-best when we can have a double WIN-WIN by Selling the Property for TOP Dollar and when it is sold it will be placed back on the Tax-Rolls. Oh, by the way, anyone who thinks we should give away Town Property for Bargain Prices is also contributing to that BAD Smell coming from Town Hall. Your Posts from the past indicate you do not contribute to that ODOR, so I will assume you just misunderstood the point I was trying to make.

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