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Needham train depot up for sale


As part of a larger attempt to generate revenue, the financially strapped MBTA has put the Needham Center Station Depot Building on Great Plain Avenue up for sale with a minimum bid of $180,000.

The MBTA acquired the station in 1991, according to bid invitation documents dated Feb. 22, and in the past used it as an MBTA waiting room and patron ticket sales and information area.

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The depot is currently closed to the public, though commuter rail trains still stop there. It is attached to the Center Café restaurant.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an e-mail yesterday that the sale is an attempt by the transit agency to generate revenue and cut costs. The MBTA recently proposed a mix of service cuts and fare hikes, citing a projected budget shortfall of $161 million dollars for the fiscal year beginning in July.

The agency has said it is looking into other methods to help close the budget gap, including selling surplus property.

Pesaturo said that the transit agency sold a similar depot building at the Newton Highlands Station on the Green Line and is about to sell a depot building at Newton Centre Station. The MBTA is also preparing to accept bids for the depot building at Stoughton Station.

“All of these buildings are vacant and of no use to the MBTA,’’ he said.

Pesaturo said some of the old MBTA depots are designated historic by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and buyers are required to preserve and maintain them in accordance with commission restrictions.

The use of the station, he said, will be up to the buyer and to local zoning laws. The bid documents say that the building is zoned for retail sales, professional or medical offices, and retail businesses.

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