Developer ‘very committed’ to exploring Tremont Nail development opportunities

Nov 5, 2020

Don Huggins, a Rhode Island resident and real estate developer, has expressed interest in the Tremont Nail Factory property, which is owned by the Wareham Redevelopment Authority.

Huggins said he’s been “in the development business” in the north east and Florida for over 45 years. Huggins told members of the Wareham Redevelopment Authority that he and the construction company he works with are very interested in the Tremont Nail Factory property, during the board’s Nov. 5 meeting.

Huggins said he was first introduced to Town Planner Ken Buckland when he was evaluating the Tremont Nail Factory property for a company he consults for, rather than for his own purposes.

“When I saw this building in Wareham for them and met with Ken the first time, I’m walking around the site on this great cloudy rainy day, and said ‘this is what I want,’” Huggins said. “And Ken said ‘well, we’re going to be looking for a master developer.’ So I’m sitting back waiting for that RFP to come out, and we will pursue that.”

Huggins said he’d just left a meeting focused on making sure his team would be ready to submit a response next week to the request for proposals for the sheet metal building on the Tremont Nail Factory property.

Huggins also said he had the vision plan for Tremont Nail Factory, which the town had created in 2017.

“I’m salivating over the opportunity to do something there,” Huggins said of the Tremont Nail Property. “It’s a unique, special piece of property.” 

He said he is familiar with Wareham, as he’s worked on other projects in town.

“I’m very very in tune with Wareham as an opportunity and I’m really anxious to hopefully get something going together with you guys there,” Huggins said.

Huggins said he looked at opportunity zones in New Bedford and Fall River. 

“I just fell into this Wareham property and opportunity purely by accident,” he said. “Now I’m very very very committed to try and get something done there.”

It remains unclear exactly what authority the master developer of the Tremont Nail Factory property would have. Buckland said that in the request for proposals for master developers, the Redevelopment Authority could get into specifics.

“What we can do in the RFP, if we proceed with one, is to give some parameters to what a master developer would need in the redevelopment of Tremont Nail Factory and the surrounding area,” Buckland said.

Redevelopment Authority members decided they would ask the Board of Selectmen to authorize them to issue a request for proposals for potential master developers for the Tremont Nail Factory property. They planned to wait until a draft of the potential request for proposals was written before asking the Board of Selectmen for authorization.