|Former Rose Gardens Motel on Portland Road|
(See history of motel here and here for a zoning change)
Significantly, the City did assess it, and an early estimate was for $57.1 million...but strangely the newspaper's piece omitted this, only very briefly alluding to the site assessement, and not to the costing.
|Rose Gardens/Epping Parcel (not latest cost estimate, however)|
|The latest cost estimate has the Rose Gardens/Epping Parcel|
at $66.1 Million
One virtue, I suppose, of this site proposal getting traction is that SCV proponents will seriously have to dig in and show how their numbers are superior to the City's. (Maybe they are, but they haven't been persuasive yet.)
|Two proposals, side by side|
City alternative using car lot on left
Salem Community Vision SWAG on right
At the same time, this is a neglected part of town, and there are real possibilities, especially with the prospect of a mixed-use development and even public-private partnership here. Though a commenter on the SJ's piece notes that "Having the State police on Portland road had little impact to the blight of the area" and asks "what makes [folks] think adding the city police department there would improve things?"
Overall, it's far from a crazy idea, and there is much to commend it. But it just seems really unlikely that it can be done as cheaply as SCV seems to think, especially if we are honest about lost property taxes, ongoing operational costs, and possible future capital costs arising from a non-central location.
(The Northgate proposal first came into the picture here on December 5th, and questions about the SCV swag first arose on December 18th here. The whole series of posts, going back to 2010, can be read here.)