Alfred E. Vellucci, arch-critic of Harvard for his seven years on the Cambridge City Council, said yesterday that he favored the sale of the MTA's Bennett Street Yards to the University even if it submits a lower bid for the property than a private developer.
"The important question." Vellucci said, "is not who makes the highest bid for the Yards but what set-up will produce the most revenue for the city of Cambridge."
If it gets the Yards, the University has agreed to build taxable structures on two-thirds of its 145 acres. Vellucci estimates that these might produce up to 25 million in taxes annually for Cambridge.
What we are afraid of, "Vellucci continued, "is that a shopping center will property as a parking lot that can't be sneak in that will use most of the taxed." He reported that a "multi-million dollar mid-Western outfit" which runs wild with money when it buys choice land for shopping centers" was interested in bidding on the Yards.
"We are watching very closely to see that they don't move in and deprive us of tax revenue," Vellucci added. Bids for the property must be submitted to be Transit Authority before Dec. 28 Although Harvard's offer "seems to be the best deal right now," Vellucci said he might later support selling the land to another bidder if his development would pay more taxes.
Meanwhile, John Briston Sullivan, the flamboyant Cambridge real estate developer who last year almost managed to get permission to construct a building-on-stilts on the Cambridge Common, revealed yesterday that he too is planning to bid on the MTA Yards.
He promised to fill them with apartment and office buildings that would be 100 per cent taxable by the City.
"Everything I do is in the best interests of the City and the taxpayer," Sullivan explained. After losing his fight to construct the building on stilts, Sullivan sparred last spring with the Metropolitan District Commission over control of river-front property.