WESTFIELD- The Bank of America building at 10 Main St. was sold at the end of August after having been vacant since 2016.
The building was sold to San Diego- based Johnston Holding Company, Inc. (JHC) owned by Dustin Johnston. JHC is also registered on North Rainbow Road in Las Vegas.
The sale of the building took place on Aug. 29 for $186,375, according to documents obtained from Westfield’s assessor’s office.
In 1992, the last time the building was sold, it was bought by Fleet Bank of Massachusetts for $345,000. Calculating inflation, that sale would have been $630,880 in 2019 dollars. The most recent assessment of the value of the building and the land was for $915,900, far more than the building was sold for.
The assessed value of the building and land in 2016 was $738,200.
Attempts by The Westfield News to reach out to Dustin Johnston were not returned by press time. A number associated with JHC appears to be disconnected.
The sale of the bank building is yet another high-profile sale of property in Westfield’s downtown area. Just around the corner at 89 Elm St., the Bentley Billiards building was sold for $275,000 back in July. That building was purchased by Eugene Borowski Jr. of Chicopee.
The former Bank of America building is 11,000 square-feet on a .12-acre lot. It also comes with the Bank of America ATM next to the building. The ATM should remain as Bank of America required that it continue to be leased out to them.
The building was up for auction twice since Bank of America closed the Westfield branch in 2016. It did not sell in either case. The most recent auction of the building took place in May. It did not sell at the time, despite being auctioned without reserve, meaning that there was no minimum bid requirement.
Westfield’s Community Development Director Peter J. Miller said that he has not yet heard from Johnston. He noted that he would reach out to Johnston in the coming weeks to get some insight on his plan for the building and to give some advice relative to working in Westfield.
“I am pleased that someone sees an opportunity in downtown Westfield. Downtown buildings are incredibly challenging for developers because they require significant investment to meet modern building, safety, and fire code. All of these factor into how much a building is worth when it goes up for sale,” said Miller. “That said, the buyer has an excellent opportunity to bring new life to a prominent building with a prime location right on Park Square Green. I look forward to working with them should they require assistance from the city.”