The Nantucket Airport Commission has posted a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids for a lease of vacant land located in the area of Bunker Road to be used as a vehicle impound lot, surface storage, and/or for motor vehicle repairs.
The Airport Commission stated in the RFP that it has a “strong preference” for the 22,000 square-foot lot to be used as an impound lot containing 10-15 spaces.
“I'm kind of excited about it. The airport runs the parking lot operation and it’s one of the revenue streams that helps to support the airport,” commission chair Arthur Gasbarro said. “With the impound lot, if you have any vehicles that are left in the parking lot, you now can actually do something with them. And then there's also a town need for the impound lot. It sort of serves a community need, serves an airport need, and it helps to support the overall parking lot operation (at the airport).”
This lot was fully enclosed recently with black vinyl chain link fence on all four sides. A "fair market rental value appraisal" gave the land a price of $2.50 per square foot, which will now serve as the minimum price the airport can lease the land for. The airport commission will also provide monthly rent credit to whoever is awarded the lease for the removal and/or storage of abandoned vehicles at the airport.
The lease will be, at minimum, five years with up to three five-year renewals – capping the lease at no more than a 20-year pact.
Gasbarro, who is also the chair of the town's Traffic Safety Work Group, pointed to the lack of space that current tow operators on the island have to store vehicles. He believes this piece of land could be utilized by an existing company working in close quarters or someone building an entirely new business.
“It will be very interesting to see what kind of proposals you get to this (RFP) in terms of both what somebody is willing to pay and what the level of interest is there,” Gasbarro said. “Whether it be one of the current tow operators who just needs a little more space and they already own a tow truck, or maybe it is some young person that’s like ‘I’m going to buy a tow truck and I’m going to make this happen.’ The airport is in no way involved with that operation. The airport is a straight landlord that essentially will be collecting rent after dedicating and putting that land out for a specific use.”
The airport rents parking spots out on a year-round basis in its parking lot. Spots in the front lot closest to the terminal can be had on a weekly or monthly basis for $120 and $400 respectively. The back lot farthest from the terminal has $60 weekly fees and $200 monthly fees, but also offers more long-term options including an $875 six-month fee and $1,500 annual fee.
But oftentimes the airport is forced to deal with abandoned vehicles from seasonal residents who have nowhere else to station their cars and don’t have a desire to pay the fees required. Gasbarro said an impound lot would help them better manage their available parking spaces.
“We can call this person if we have a car that's been abandoned in the parking lot at the airport (and need it moved). Right now, there's nothing to do. What do you do?" Gasbarro said. "It’s kind of like the downtown problem. They've been using that barnacle. The police don't really tow unless it's related to a motor vehicle infraction or a public safety issue.”
All proposals are being accepted up until Tuesday, September 26 at 2 p.m. Copies of the RFP can be obtained by clicking here, can be picked up in person at the airport manager’s office at 14 Airport Road, or they can be requested in writing by emailing the contact person for the RFP, Boyana Stoykova-Nelson at Bstoykova-Nelson@nantucketairport.com.
“I think this is a really positive type of direction for the airport and the town,” Gasbarro said. “The approach here is to just make (this land) available and see where it goes.”