Lowell National Historical Park Land Exchange Act

Last week the US House of Representatives approved the Lowell Nation Park Exchange Act filed by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.  According to a press Release issues Tsongas’ office on February 29:

The bill permits the transfer of the National Park’s surface parking lots on Dutton Street to the City in exchange for an equal number of parking spaces in a new garage to be built adjacent to the existing parking lots.

“The exchange of property between the Park and the City is needed to further the development of the Hamilton Canal area which will create new economic opportunity and thousands of new jobs in Lowell,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Today’s approval of the bill helps to move this commonsense land exchange forward and we will continue to press for full Congressional approval of this mutually beneficial measure in the weeks ahead.”

The land where the Dutton Street lots are located is needed for the development of the Hamilton Canal District. Lowell National Historical Park is eager to provide the City of Lowell with the property but federal law requires that the National Park Service receive land of equal value in exchange. The legislation that Tsongas introduced, and a companion measure introduced by Senator John Kerry in the Senate, provides the vehicle for the mutually-agreed-upon exchange.

Below, Senator John Kerry urges a National Parks Sub-committee to pass the bill also.

2 Responses to Lowell National Historical Park Land Exchange Act

  1. Corey says:

    Thanks for posting this! The project is very exciting – building on the park lots is slated for pretty late in the game I believe, as is the garage (although the city recently cleared the lot next to Canal Place III, which is where it will be built).

    Text of bill here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc112/h2240_ih.xml

    Just to make sure I understand, this is authorizing them to make *any* land transfer in the future, nothing is being done right now, correct? Also, I noticed that this bill extends the maturity date for loans to LDFC from 35 to 60 years.

  2. Joe S says:

    I don’t expect the actual transfer would occur until the replacement parking is available. It may be another example of “build it (parking garage) and they will come”. Of course. to make sense the “they” is not only the NHP patrons, but significant commercial enterprises that would be located on the land of the current lot. Let’s hope the City doesn’t have to foot the entire bill for another parking garage.