The Bulletin Board

State sets deadline for proposals to purchase Lakes Region property

By: - July 27, 2022 2:27 pm
aerial of Lakes Region prison, Laconia

The state and its marketing firm, CBRE, have asked interested buyers to submit their preliminary ideas for developing the former Lakes Region prison site by Aug. 19, 2022. (Screenshot of CBRE marketing materials.)

Hoping to turn conversations with several developers into offers, the state and its marketing firm have set an Aug. 19 deadline for proposals to buy 216 acres in Laconia that once housed the Lakes Region prison.

“We had multiple interested parties who have been asking questions and meeting with people but they haven’t submitted anything yet,” said Jared Nylund, who is overseeing the sale at the Department of Administrative Services. “It’s been marketed for a few months, and given the number of interested parties that we’ve been speaking with (this call for proposals) is to encourage actual submissions.”

The property has been available for years, and for the last four has been in the hands of the legislatively appointed Lakeshore Redevelopment Planning Commission, which has conducted engineering and architectural studies and written a strategic development plan. Last year, the Legislature handed the sales job to Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council in a move that allows them to sidestep time-consuming state reviews. 

The land comes with lake views but also development challenges that include outdated water and sewer systems and 35 buildings in disrepair. When it sought a private real estate brokerage firm to market the property, the Department of Administrative Services acknowledged the land may go for nothing, other than a return to the tax rolls. 

The brokerage firm, CBRE, hasn’t concealed those challenges in its marketing materials: “The property is being sold as-is in its current condition, with all faults,” it states. 

Nylund said the state isn’t looking for fully developed proposals by Aug. 19, but rather a preliminary development vision and evidence the buyer has the experience and financial resources to achieve that vision. 

The property is also home to the state’s backup 911 call center and the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid. Both will stay put, Nylund said, until the property sells. If it does, they will likely be relocated to adjacent state-owned land, Nylund said. 

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Email: [email protected]