Plan to move Swansea town hall to former mall ‘postponed indefinitely’

SWANSEA — Town officials are pumping the brakes on a plan to move town offices into

SWANSEA — Town officials are pumping the brakes on a plan to move town offices into space at the former Swansea Mall, citing legal issues they say would make the move impossible.

“In aiming to answer all of the questions raised, in performing our due diligence, and during the negotiations and legal review, we have found we are legally unable to move forward with this proposal and that we cannot, in good faith, continue to prepare terms and conditions for a contract with the Proposer,” the Board of Selectmen said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Officials had been moving ahead with a plan to move town offices out of Town Hall, the Town Hall Annex and the Council on Aging building and consolidate them all in one location at the Swansea Mall, which has been largely unused since it closed in 2019. The warrant for the Nov. 2 meeting includes a vote on whether the town should spend $5.4 million to purchase the space.

But, the selectmen said in their announcement that they now plan to make a motion to postpone that article and two others related to the project indefinitely.

What’s going on at the Swansea Mall site:‘One project makes the other project successful’

Selectmen said they learned while negotiating with SM Management LLC, which owns 262 Swansea Mall Drive, that there were legal complications with the property that would prevent them from creating a dedicated driveway and entryway to what would be the town’s portion of the building and to making repairs to a road leading to the property.