53 – 59 Mason Street / 38 Commercial Street

Neighborhood Meeting Scheduled

Wednesday June 10th, 6 pm – 8 pm, at 53 Mason Street

53 – 59 Mason Street project developers, The Long Game, LLC, have proposed to meet with neighbors to provide a chance to visit the site, review the submitted proposal for development at 53-59 Mason St., and ask questions.

Due to the current limitations around public gatherings inside, we have been waiting for a date that will work with participants outside. Please be prepared to follow current social distancing guidelines, including face-coverings and proper distancing. Parking is available onsite.

We are spacing out the evening, and there will be two presentations; the first at 6:15 and the second at 6:45, with time to walk the grounds before or after, and ask follow-up questions that you may have.

If you have any questions in advance of the meeting, please send them over and I will forward along.

Background Information

A new, residential and commercial development proposal was initially presented at the Wednesday, April 15th Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Current Street view of 53/59 Mason Street

The proposed development is currently in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) requesting a density and construction variance. You can find the full application submitted to the ZBA here:

The petitioner intends to preserve the building for commercial uses and construct two additional stories on top of that building. The residential unit count presented at the April 15th meeting was 92 residential units. This count was reduced to 88 units in the presentation at the May 20th meeting.

The square footage of the proposed project site is 142,646 square feet (including 107,787 sf at 53-59 Mason Street and 34,859 sf at 38 Commercial Street). NRCC Zoning allows for 3,500 sf of lot area per dwelling unit, which would allow 40 units.

The application in front of the ZBA currently notes that “the petitioner could increase the allowed density to 60 units based on bonuses for the affordable units that will be provided and the preservation of the building.” And “A variance is required to achieve the additional units necessary to support the extraordinary costs of redeveloping the site.

Also noted in the application “The second is a minor variance from the requirement prohibiting construction within a 50 foot buffer zone from the abutting residential property in order to allow a public walkway to be constructed and the existing parking area to be repaired.”

The recording from the ZBA April 15th meeting where plans are initially presented and the project is first discussed can be found here: http://ondemand.satvonline.org/Cablecast/Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowID=18873  Project starts at the 2 hour 40 minute minute mark.

The project was again on the agenda at the May 20th ZBA meeting. The recording of the meeting is posted here: http://cc.satvonline.org/Cablecast/Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowID=19233  (starts at about the 20 minute mark).

Learn more about this project by reviewing the documents submitted here, watching the recording ZBA meetings linked above, or join the onsite meeting Wednesday, June 10th at 6pm -8pm at 53 Mason Street.

Additionally, you can send questions to me in advance via email at mriccardi@salem.com.