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Entergy finds no buyer for Brattleboro properties

Company points to soft commercial-real estate market

BRATTLEBORO—Citing a lack of interest from prospective buyers, Entergy has taken its former Brattleboro headquarters off the real estate market.

The three parcels include more than 66,000 square feet of building space located near Exit 3 of Interstate 91, and local officials had expressed hope that the site would attract new jobs.

But Entergy is no longer actively marketing the property, though administrators also say they’re not interested in maintaining long-term ownership.

“If we had a use for those as Entergy Corp., I think we would have figured that out by now,” said Jack Boyle, Vermont Yankee decommissioning director.

Entergy has been steadily shrinking its local presence since the December 2014 shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The downsizing has included job cuts and elimination of the plant’s 10-mile emergency planning zone, as well as a pending proposal to drastically shrink the Vernon plant’s protected area.

Last year, Entergy also pulled out of its Brattleboro properties on Old Ferry Road. That complex had hosted the company’s local offices, the Vermont Yankee Joint Information Center, and a training center for the plant.

About a year ago, Entergy hired a Burlington real estate company to market its three Brattleboro properties, which have been assessed by the town at a combined $4.5 million.

The company had dubbed it a “rare redevelopment or user opportunity for the poised investor/developer.” In addition to the buildings, there’s a paved parking lot for 75 cars.

In a recent interview, Boyle said the real estate company “did their best” to drum up interest. But it didn’t pay off.

“We had little to no interest in the properties,” Boyle said. “I think we showed it to one prospective buyer.”

Entergy had been offering the three contiguous properties as a package deal. Boyle said the company had entertained some interest in “parts and pieces” of the site, but nothing has panned out.

He doesn’t think that’s due to the properties themselves, but rather because of a lack of demand for commercial real estate in the area. “The market is just very, very soft,” Boyle said.

He expects that, at some point, Entergy will make another push to sell the Brattleboro site. If there’s anyone interested in the meantime, “we’d certainly like to connect with them,” Boyle said.

For now, “we still own them, and as such we are maintaining them,” Boyle said of the properties. “We’re paying our utility bills. We’re keeping the grounds up.”

The Entergy complex isn’t the only significant commercial/industrial property available in Brattleboro. At Exit One Industrial Park, Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. has been seeking a tenant for a 24,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by defense contractor L3 KEO, which shut down its local operations earlier this year.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #426 (Wednesday, September 20, 2017). This story appeared on page undef.

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