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City Considering Land Purchase Adjacent to Gagliardo Park

(PHOTO: 21-23 Nursery Lane is a combined .8 acre parcel that would increase the size of Gagliardo Park by 32%.)
(PHOTO: 21-23 Nursery Lane is a combined .8 acre parcel that would increase the size of Gagliardo Park by 32%.)

The City of Rye is considering a land purchase immediately adjacent to Rye Recreation’s 2.49 acre Gagliardo Park. The available property is 21-23 Nursery Lane, a combined .8 acre parcel that would increase the size of Gagliardo Park by 32%. The purchase price is reported to be between $2.5 – $3.0 million.

“Yes, there is a proposal, getting serious study,” Rye Mayor Josh Cohn told MyRye.com Friday evening. He declined further comment. 21-23 Nursery Lane is the site of a formal dog kennel. 

(PHOTO: 21-23 Nursery Lane is a combined .8 acre parcel that would increase the size of Gagliardo Park by 32%.)
(PHOTO: 21-23 Nursery Lane is a combined .8 acre parcel that would increase the size of Gagliardo Park by 32%.)

The opportunity arose in the last 60 days. It is still exploratory but appears to be fast moving. Because it is early in the process, it is not clear the City has identified the highest and best use of the property, the recommended source of funding to make the purchase, or what improvements would be necessary. The City may have as little as a month to make its go or no go determination, although the speed will depend on if there are other buyers in the mix.

“The city should buy more land when they get the opportunity,” said Rye Sustainability Committee Chair James Ward. “So I’m 100% behind it.”

Right or wrong, any property purchase is certain to get caught up in the politics of the (completely separate) Nursery Field, where there is an ongoing and cantankerous debate around the proposed installation of an artificial turf field funded by $3.0 million in donations. The City has not purchased land for recreational purposes since it purchased Nursery Field along Milton Road back in the early 2000s. 

Councilmember Julie Souza, who is the liaison to the Recreation Commission, told MyRye.com “We’re trying to explore what the options may be for that space and if they make sense for us from a priorities perspective, as well as from a fiscal perspective.”

(PHOTO: Gagliardo Park currently hosts a little league sized baseball field as well as a basketball court, a playground and picnic area and some woods..)
(PHOTO: Gagliardo Park currently hosts a little league sized baseball field as well as a basketball court, a playground and picnic area and some woods. Credit: Matt Capaldi.)

Gagliardo Park has a little league baseball field, basketball court, a playground and picnic area and some woods. Even with the additional property, recreation sources in the City say it would not be eligible for any regulation size field.

The City did purchase the 1037 Boston Post Road property, the current site of the Rye YMCA Studios, back in 2006 with the intent of building a new police headquarters and courthouse. That never happened and the City sold the property in 2013 at a loss.

The 21-23 Nursery Lane property is accessible off North Street and neighbors warehouses used by Carpet Trends, Rye Marble as well as County Coach and Pro Autobody of Rye. Like Gagliardo Park, the property runs adjacent to Interstate 95. In June 2021, the City’s Planning Commission granted approval for the development of a 40,960 square foot, three-story self-storage facility with 328 climate-controlled units with loading and parking. As part of the approval, Planning accepted the merging of all three (3) parcels into one (1) tax lot. 

If the property is sold to an owner who pursues this option, this would be the second self storage facility under development. Part of the old Avon property on Midland Avenue is also being developed into a self storage facility. 

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