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State looks to sell Iron Works Road property

The state is looking to sell property on Iron Works Road in Concord.

The 13-acre Russell Farm property includes a building and 9 acres of farmland. State officials plan to subdivide the property, preserving the 9 acres, said Michael Connor, deputy commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.

The remaining 4 acres along Iron Works Road could be sold, Connor said. That parcel includes the building, and was previously used as office space for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The building has three parts, according to a review completed by Connor’s department: an old farmhouse, a two-story barn and a modern office space that connects them.

Before the property is sold, Connor said a historical review must be completed. The farmhouse was built before 1787 and renovated in the mid-19th century. The barn and office building were built in the first half of the 20th century. A historical review could include requirements to document or preserve the building.

After the proposed subdivision, the remaining 4-acre parcel would border Iron Works Road and the Turkey River. The Shea Farm halfway house is across the Turkey River from the property, also on Iron Works Road.

The property, at 84 Iron Works Road, is zoned for open space residential use, which permits single-family homes and agricultural, forestry or low-impact outdoor recreational uses.

Officials are in the “early stages” of plans to sell the property, Connor said. The subdivision plan will go before the state Council on Resources and Development tomorrow. Connor said there will be discussions about dividing the property to protect about 100 feet of land along the Turkey River.

The farmland on the property is part of the Russell Shea State Forest and was informally transferred to the state Department of Resources and Economic Development in 1972. Connor said the subdivision would formalize the arrangement that is already in place.

State officials sent a notice to the city about the property last month. Matt Walsh, the city’s assistant for special projects, said he wasn’t aware of any correspondence from the state. He said he’s not sure whether the city would have interest in the property.

“If it did end up in the hands of private development because it is an attractive location – it’s close to Interstate 89 for example – I think the city would just want to see some of the natural and agricultural resources that are on that property, that they could be preserved,” Walsh said.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or
lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

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