The Inspector General reviews a variety of real property transactions each year to ensure that the public interest is adequately protected. The Office also reviews appraisals of real property interests being conveyed or acquired by the state, counties, and municipalities. The Inspector General provides a report on such appraisals to the Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) for submission to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.
Below are a few examples of legislatively mandated real property reviews conducted by the Inspector General in 2011:
Former Dever State School Disposition to Taunton Development Corporation: The Office reviewed the appraisal and disposition documents for the remaining 188 acres of the Dever State School property to be conveyed as Phase IV and V. Three other phases of dispositions have occurred. The property was to be conveyed for the purposes of municipal industrial development, development of a regional education, training and skills alliance center, and development of a life sciences center as well as restricting some land for recreation and preservation of a cemetery. Other land that was part of the deal was to be used for housing. Although the legislation named the Taunton Development Corporation as the party to receive the land to be developed, ultimately a new non-profit entity Taunton Development/MassDevelopment Corporation was created to perform the obligations of the legislation and the disposition documents. The Office’s review noted that appropriate safeguards were included in the disposition documents.
Assembly Square Area of Somerville: The Office reviewed the appraisal of multiple fee and easement parcels to be transferred to facilitate the development of a planned mixed-use development in the Assembly Square Area. The Office approved the methodology and estimate of value presented in the appraisal.
Revere Land: The Office reviewed an appraisal that encompassed two parcels to be exchanged. One parcel of state land was to be conveyed to the City of Revere for development of a public safety facility and the other parcel was to be conveyed by the City to the state for expansion of the Rumney Marsh Reservation. The Office approved the methodology and estimate of value presented in the appraisal.
Former Worcester County Courthouse: DCAM attempted to sell the vacant historic Worcester County Courthouse by auction, but not enough qualified entities responded. Therefore, DCAM had the building appraised so that it could be sold through a request for proposals process. The Office reviewed the appraisal and approved the methodology and estimate of value presented.