I would like to thank the members of the Hull Redevelopment Authority – Evan Shuman, Spencer O’Loughlin, Dennis Zaia, and James Tobin – for the time and effort they have contributed to the HRA and the citizens of Hull.
The HRA has been working diligently on an Urban Renewal Plan (URP) over this past year. After denying both proposals in 2019 that were in response to an HRA request for proposal under Chapter 30 B rules, the HRA determined that an approved URP was needed to give the HRA flexibility needed to negotiate and choose developers for the property moving forward under Chapter 121 B rules. We expect to have this completed and ready to submit for review and approval in the first months of 2021, initially to the Board of Selectmen and then the state Department of Housing and Community Development.
The HRA is awaiting engineering design for the two-way road design for Nantasket Avenue, Hull Shore Drive, and Hull Shore Drive Extension. The preliminary design work has been completed, and town meeting authorized the Board of Selectmen to enter into necessary agreements to effectuate the land transfers to accomplish the two-way road layout. The new roadway layout will add approximately two acres of open land along the Bayside of the HRA property and improve traffic flow and issues at Phipps Street and Anastos Corner.
The HRA continued to collect revenues for parking and vendor spaces this past season. The board worked closely with the town and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to implement a sensible parking program under changing COVID-19 restrictions.
The Thanksgiving bonfire, the Hull Youth Football Association, and Hull High Boosters carnivals did not occur this year due to coronavirus restrictions
The Friends of the Paragon Carousel continued to pay down their loan note with the HRA in 2019, but in 2020 the HRA suspended payments because the carousel has been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The HRA made its annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to the town for $55,000.
The HRA continued to improve the property by clearing bramble, brush, and trash on the Bayside at the corner of Bay Street. Fencing was installed to frame the area, creating an expanded open space along the bay with the newly constructed Lieber Tierney Gazebo. The gazebo was completed in the spring of 2020 and began to host small events.
The HRA has funded the following projects and initiatives since 2013:
$40,000 for improvements to the sidewalks at the war memorial;
$10,000 for the Hull Public Library reception area;
$250,000 for engineering and design work related to the $1.95 million Nantasket Avenue project at Surfside;
$5,848 to purchase washable anti-graffiti paint for Fort Revere;
$47,000 to challenge the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps, resulting in flood insurance savings for 1,300 property owners; and
$10,000 for the Hull Artwalk, connecting the rear DCR parking area to the front beach area.
The HRA continues to work diligently to be a proactive partner to improve the town and enhance the HRA properties to create a user-friendly space that preserves open space while simultaneously creating an area suitable for viable economic development that meets the needs of the citizens of Hull.
– Bartley Kelly
Bartley Kelly is chairman of the Hull Redevelopment Authority.