Golden Triangle Bidders Consider Joint Development Effort In Sandwich

The two entities vying to acquire town-owned land in the “Golden Triangle” are discussing joining forces to create a combined development.

Robert L. Clark of Falmouth, a member of the joint partnership that has proposed an ambitious destination sports complex for the land, confirmed that partnership representatives met Tuesday with representatives of the Tsakalos Realty Trust, which has proposed a mixed-use development for part of the town-owned tract.

The partnership and the trust each responded last month to the town’s request for proposals to develop the tract, which consists of 56 acres in the Golden Triangle.

The so-called Triangle, in South Sandwich, is bounded by Route 130 and Cotuit and Quaker Meetinghouse roads.

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In its proposal, the partnership proposed acquiring the entire 56-acre tract, where it would build a destination sports complex slated to include a fieldhouse, a number of athletic and ball fields, two hotels and retail space.

The partnership offered to pay $750,000 for the land and to make a non-refundable $150,000 donation to the Sandwich Economic Initiative Corporation, a nonprofit organization created to boost the town’s economy.

The Tsakalos trust offered to buy 16.75 acres of the tract for $1,088,750.

The trust then would combine the former town land with adjacent developed and undeveloped trust land to create a mixed-use development that would include retail, office, medical and residential space, as well as a 120-unit hotel.

As part of the deal, however, the trust wanted the town to agree not to allow competing uses on the remaining 40 acres of town-owned land.

Town officials have launched a review of both proposals. In letters sent July 3 to each entity, town manager George H. Dunham requested each to provide additional information, warning them that their respective proposals would not be considered if they failed to do so.

But the partnership and the trust now are considering embarking on a combined endeavor kind of “have your cake and eat it too” approach with the possibility for shared success.

The joint partnership wants the entire 56 acres of the town-owned property for its sprawling destination sports complex; the trust wants just under 17 acres but also the guarantee of no competition on the remaining 40 acres.

The trust, however, already owns 24 acres of undeveloped land next to the triangle, along with 25 acres proposed for redevelopment.

By joining forces, the partnership can tap some of the trust’s land for the acreage it wants, while the trust can make use of some of the town land in the Golden Triangle.

“He’d like to do something with the triangle, ” Mr. Clark said Wednesday, referring to Thomas Tsakalos, the Sandwich businessman who controls the trust. “Things could be done with his land.”

Kevin Kirrane, the Mashpee attorney who is a spokesman for the Tsakalos trust, said yesterday that the trust and partnership “do see value in a potential combined effort.

“Both entities bring different things to the table,” Mr. Kirrane said. The assets could complement each other, he said, leading to a successful project.

In the eyes of town manager George H. Dunham, any cooperation between the two responding entities “would be great.”

But Mr. Dunham also said he was not certain how a combined effort would fit in with the legal requirements of the town’s request for proposals.

While nothing concrete came out of Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Clark said, he also said the partnership and the trust agreed to keep talking.

Mr. Clark said the overall scenario of a combined endeavor offers a complementary rather than competitive relationship.

The young off-Cape athletes and their families who would be coming to the partnership’s sports complex would be likely patrons of a large number of Mr. Tsakalos’s commercial tenants—especially on days such as Wednesday, when heavy rain would have canceled any contests on the complex’s sports fields.

Mr. Clark said a combined development would be in the best interests of the town and its tax base.

The destination sports complex, he said, would bring off-Cape dollars to Sandwich, many of them from athletes and their families who would come from out of state to stay at the complex while participating in its programs and athletic contests.

Further, Mr. Clark said a trust-partnership combination making use of the town tract and nearby trust land can make better use of Chapter 23L, a relatively new state law that can ease the burden of paying for any required infrastructure improvements.

Mr. Clark, whose background is in commercial real estate appraisals, said a combination of the destination sports complex and the trust’s mixed-use development would provide the “highest and best use” of the available land.

In addition to Mr. Clark, members of the partnership include the Dan Duquette Sports Academy, which is headed by Daniel P. Duquette, former general manager of the Boston Red Sox and now executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles; NAG Energy Inc., owner of the canal electric power plant and the largest taxpayer in Sandwich; Boston Global Investors, headed by John B. Hynes III; retired hockey star Christopher E. Drury; and Mr. Drury’s father-in-law, longtime Boston restaurateur Mark Manning.

The trust is headed by Thomas Tsakalos, who arrived in the United States as a penniless immigrant and now owns the Canterbury, Heritage and Trade Winds shopping centers, all in the Golden Triangle.

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