FRAMINGHAM – Nobscot resident Rick McKenna had a vision of re-purposing the historic Nobscot Chapel into a modern day trading post, cafe, and community meeting center.
He submitted a proposal to the City of Framingham, of which he found out last week, the City rejected.
“It is with great disappointment that I announce that the city has once again rejected our proposal to save, restore and repurpose the Nobscot Chapel. Our Tippling Rock Trading Post proposal, in our opinion, answered the community’s desire for a locally owned and operated café, market and meeting place—a supposed necessity for a successful transition to a pedestrian friendly, walkable village center,” said McKenna on Sunday, Feb. 17.
SOURCE contacted Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer III on Thursday about the chapel request for proposals, and if the City had awarded a bid with its fourth RFP.
Kezer, had told the City Council, that the City needed more time to review the two proposals and had extended the 30-day time frame, but said an announcement was expected in mid-February.
On Friday, at 6:39 a.m. Kezer told SOURCE “I have asked the appropriate staff working on these projects to provide a response to your questions. Kelly or I will get back to you as soon as we have the responses.”
SOURCE did not receive an answer from the City last week, after that email.
McKenna said the “reasons for the rejection this time (4th RFP) seemed to be two-fold. The competing bid was 10,000 higher than ours. It was also mentioned that our bid was missing certain details that were due by the 24th of January—even though I was invited to sit with city representatives on the 29th of January to discuss the proposal. Any and all concerns were addressed, apparently not to the satisfaction of whomever the decision maker(s) was/were. As they say, the devil is often in the details.”
It is not known if the owner of the almost empty Nobscot Plaza Andy Rose, was awarded the bid for the chapel, as the City did not respond to SOURCE’s questions, but McKenna implied the owner did in his response to the news outlet.
“With respect to the city’s proclaimed “full transparency” edict, we have asked for the specifics of the late/missing information. We have also asked for the names of the persons on the screening/selection committee,” said McKenna in a statement on Sunday.
Rose has said in previous meetings, and with plans he has shown, that he would like to have CVS in the location, where the chapel currently stands.
“Our group would like to thank the Framingham, and specifically Nobscot community for the outpour of support for our neighborhood vision. We decided that with this (probably) final RFP for the chapel, that we would go public with our proposal—to let the community finally know what we’ve been working on for many years,” said McKenna.
“Thanks to the marketing, research, financial, legal and design/build team we’ve had behind the scenes for the endless hours of arduous (but often entertaining) work and dedication to the project,” said McKenna in a statement on Sunday.
“As a historic building preservationist, I personally hope that care will be taken with any move and repurposing of Edgar Hemenway’s Union Chapel, and that it never be allowed to be demolished. And implore the community to support efforts to increase the demo delay of historic structures to two years –before the fabric of Framingham’s history is severely decimated,” said McKenna, representing the Tippling Rock group.
The Town of Framingham took possession of the chapel through foreclosure in August 2011, due to outstanding balance water and utility balance of $15,000.
The Town of Framingham began working to foreclose on the property beginning in 2004.
The chapel, located at the intersection of Edgell Road and Water Street, was built around 1885.