By Ted Hayes

Sticker shock as mill values go through roof

Parker Mill up more than 100 percent under reval, while 16 Cutler St. jumps 45; Tourister down 25 percent

Posted

Warren homeowners might have been surprised to learn of their properties’ new assessments last week, but it’s likely few were as unhappy as the owners of two of Warren’s largest mills.

Dave Westcott, whose Windsor Properties owns the Cutler mill complex at 16 Cutler St., learned his property had jumped in value from $1.99 million to $2.88 million — an increase of 45 percent. And Mark Lombari, owner of the Parker Mill on Metacom Avenue, saw his assessment more than double, from $1.4 million to $3.01 million.

While Mr. Lombari declined to comment on the valuation change, which came about during Warren’s recent full revaluation, Mr. Wescott said he is not happy.

“I’m appealing,” said Mr. Wescott, whose 30 mill units are all currently occupied and tenanted.

“We’re going to price these wonderful people right out. Essentially (tax increases are) the only thing that makes me raise my rents.”

It is too soon to tell how much in additional taxes the two mill owners will owe under their new assessments, as Warren still has not officially computed a new tax base (the collective value of all property in town) and will not until the reveal review process, including appeals, conclude. Preliminarily though, it appears that the average value of every property in town rose 9 percent under the full revaluation, the first in 10 years.

Others down

Conversely, with an average jump much lower than those experienced by Mr. Lombari and Mr. Wescott, other properties decreased in value.

Perhaps none went down as much as the town’s largest mill, the former Tourister factory in North Warren.

That property, which was previously valued at $3.96 million, is now assessed at $2.92 million — a decrease of just over 25 percent.

Michael Giuttari, a broker from MG Commercial who is marketing the mill’s business space for Brady Sullivan and its Tourister Mills partners, said he is not surprised to see the assessment drop so much as the mill is a construction site.

“It went down temporarily because there’s nothing that can be done there,” he said, noting that the mill is not currently habitable.

“At this point there’s no use for the (Tourister) mill,” he said. “The others you can use, and I think that’s why you’re seeing an increase (in assessment) for them and a drop” at Tourister.

However, tax repercussions will be minimal as the owners of the Tourister mill have a five-year agreement in place which specifies the amount they pay the town as they rebuild the property, regardless of its assessment.

According to Warren Tax Assessor Kristopher Leadem, Tourister owners will pay the town $79,000 this year and that amount will gradually increase until 2021, when the payment will be $435,759.

“This puts them on a sliding scale to be able to contribute” while the mill work progresses and they are not generating income, Mr. Leadem said.

Warren’s fourth mill, Cutler Mills, saw the lowest movement during the reval. Owned by Michael Sigourney through his Sigourney LLC, the mill proper was formerly assessed at $1.19 million. It dropped slightly under the revaluation, to $1.16 million.

Mr. Leadem said officials from Northeast Revaluation will hold informal hearings with property owners over the coming weeks. As of Monday morning, 74 property owners have signed up for a review of their valuation.

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Honoré de Balzac

I stand corrected - I guess Warren really is great again (was it EVER great?). Maybe so great that this is a result of gentrification. All the highly paid hipsters moving into Warren. Fixing up properties, increasing their values. Maybe the tumbleweeds really will blow away from Main Street. This really is a good sign for poor, lowly Warren. Hopefully, with all this new revenue, Warren will be able to fund the school system without stealing from Bristol any longer.

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