Thursday, March 1, 2012

Armory is Auctioned

Plaintalker learned at a Planning Board meeting Thursday that the Plainfield Armory has successfully been auctioned off by the state.

The bidder hopes to use it for a child care center accommodating 300 children, Planning Director Bill Nierstedt told the board. No applications have been submitted as yet to land use boards.

According to documents online, the closing will not take place until at least Aug. 31. Because the bid exceeded the $500,000 minimum, legislation will be required and the closing will take place 90 days after passage. There is more detail in this "Agreement of Sale."

The winning bid exceeded not only the minimum, but also the $900,000 asking price by $26,000, if we are reading the document correctly.

Planning Board members Thursday questioned whether the building had any historical significance that would lead to its preservation, but no one present could confirm any such status. According to this link, the Plainfield Armory is one of eight in the state that is eligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Armory has been the subject of sometimes frantic efforts to turn it to some city use. Both Assemblyman Jerry Green and Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs have advocated its acquisition by the city.Years ago it was floated as a senior center site and more recently as a good spot for a charter school.

The new owner can be sure that neighbors will take a keen interest in whatever proposal she brings to the land use boards, as the setting is largely residential. Look for it to be a hot topic in 2012.



  1. Just what we need more non taxed usage. Yup us home owners need to pay more. We get such a good deal now. NOT.

  2. If it's a business, why wouldn't it be taxed?

  3. Who said anything about a non taxed usage? While the Dept of Defense owned it, they of course paid no taxes on it. Now that it is being sold, a new user will have to pay taxes on it. But of course, watch them apply for a PILOT.

  4. Just FYI. . . . . .as Bernice indicated word on the street is that it will be a child care center. . . apparently there is lots of 'Headstart' monies available.

    Unfortunately, this use of the building, private or not, would NOT pay real estate taxes.

    jim spear

  5. Jim, Can you clarify why the day care center would not be paying taxes?

  6. To 8:58pm The day care center will not pay taxes because it is a non-profit. Non-profits are not required to pay any taxes, and there are no restrictions regarding how many non-profits can be in a city. Currently there are abbut 40 non-profts in Plainfield, in addition to over 100 churches who are also non-profits and to no pay taxes here.

    There is a program called PILOT - which means payment in lieu of taxes. The non-profit agency can pay some money to the city since they use the city roads and other city services, but they are not required. The burden of picking up the expenses are on the Plainfield taxpayer.