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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Priced to sell, nr transportation

NEWTON

Location, location, location that seems to be about about the only worthy aspect of a property once again on the market in the heart of Newton Highlands.

The stone building that once served as a train station is on the auction block for a minimum bid of $425,000, as one of many properties being sold off by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. One encouraging sign for prospective owners: the T required a bid of at least $500,000 at the last auction, so now the price has dropped by $75,000. Bids are due by March 2.

The 3,000-square-foot structure and 11,000 square feet of surrounding land off Walnut Street could be a prime destination for a shop or office -- except for a few complications.

Any repairs or reconstruction of the building, which dates back to 1887, will be closely monitored by the Massachussetts Historical Commission. Transit officials will also retain the right to use a small office inside, and the new owner must pay for upgrading and maintaining it, according to the specifications of the auction. Moreover, no construction associated with the station or property will be allowed to interfere with T operations, and the T retains the right to build facilities to provide universal access for its riders on the Green line.

Now vacant, the building, at 18 Station Avenue, was most recently used as an auto parts store.

-- Connie Paige

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