Best Buddies Decides Against Selling Craigville Parcel to the Town

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By: James Kinsella
Published: 03/11/11

The Best Buddies organization has decided to step back from a proposed sale of the organization’s property at 1014 Craigville Beach Road in Centerville to the town.

Brad Blank, a board member of the nonprofit organization, said Wednesday that the board has decided that it did not make sense to lose money on the sale of the property.

Best Buddies acquired the 1.61-acre property, which has access to the Centerville River, for $1.15 million in September 2007, not long before real estate values began to decline on the Cape and across the United States.

The town had been prepared to offer $800,000 in community preservation funds for the property.

Known as the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Ocean Park, the parcel is across the street from town-owned Craigville Beach.

Mr. Blank said the organization remains interested in selling the property to the town in the future.

For now, he said, plans are to continue to use the property as part of the organization’s annual Best Buddies bicycle ride fundraiser, which raised $3 million last year, as well as to provide the town with space for overflow parking for people using Craigville Beach.

Had the deal gone through with the town, Best Buddies would have received an easement to use the property for its annual fundraiser.

Lindsey B. Counsell, chairman of the Barnstable Community Preservation Committee, said Wednesday he was disappointed that the deal did not come together.

But Mr. Counsell remains hopeful that the town eventually will be able to acquire the parcel, which he said has long been of interest to the town as open space and as a way to water.Mr. Blank, who grew up in Hyannis, said Best Buddies decided to buy the Craigville Beach Road parcel for the annual fundraiser after the event outgrew its former site in Hyannis Port.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, a son of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, to foster one-on-one friendships with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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