Ward 6: Project Updates Spring 2024

Another Spring Season, another update on large projects in Ward 6. I wanted to take a moment and provide an update (at least as of this writing) on a few key projects that are going on in the area. If you have any questions – let me know at mstott@salem.com.

NEW Since last update:

75 North Street (Corner of Commercial Street and North)

“75 North Street,” if approved, it would include a four-story, 60-unit building on roughly an acre of land.

The project is actually three properties: 75 North St. – currently an engineering and architecture firm, 2 Commercial St.- currently Bill’s Towing, and 3 South Mason St.- currently a vacant lot. Of the 60 units, six would be affordable at 60% of area median income (AMI)

You can find a recap of the first neighborhood meeting here: https://meg4ward6.com/neighborhood-meeting/

The project is currently in the Planning Board and the Design Review Board phase (The Zoning Board of Appeals decision is here).

Most recently, the project team presented to the Planning Board (May 16th, 2024) and responded to much of the feedback received since initial presentation.

The next planning board meeting will have future updates on the project, including traffic studies. You can find the planning board details here.

May 22nd, the project will be in front of the Design Review Board. You can find meeting details here.

PREVIOUS projects (with updates):

“Riverwalk Salem” 16, 18, 20R Franklin St (Formerly the Ferris Junkyard, directly adjacent to Furlong Park)

  • Update: Construction has begun! The major foundation work is complete. If you were in the vicinity earlier this month, you would have heard the very loud piling driving. I have been informed this is complete and is the loudest part of the construction process.
    • The building closest to the river will be constructed first and has begun.
    • Construction hours are the standard Mon – Friday 8am – 5pm. (Please reach out to on any issues with construction.)
  • A recap on the project: The developers received approval from PB on May 18, 2020. The residential development replaces the junkyard with a residential development consisting of 37 units in 4 buildings with parking under each building and some surface parking. The project includes landscaping, and public access along the waterfront, including walking paths.
  • Update: Affordability: the project will have 10% of the units at 80% area median income (AMI) (the requirement at the time of approval)
  • Part of the project also includes adding a surface lot available for the neighboring park. The city is responsible for this lot and is working on the details. Update: Testing of the land and a remediation plan is being put in place; and new sidewalks were installed in Fall of 2023. Also parking restrictions around the park are being reviewed.
  • The Realty group has created a website for the development, you can find that here: RIVERWALK Salem, MA | new condos salem ma. For a recap of the project layout, see the below image from 2020. The city lot will be the empty potion in the bottom left. Franklin Street runs along the bottom, and the North River along the top:

The other projects I have an update on have been approved post COVID – which means easy access to the plans that were reviewed. One of the few benefits from the pandemic, I guess! These are linked below:

4 Franklin St (Cataldo ambulance facility, Formerly the HMA car wash & current condition = horrible)

  • In this rendering, you can see the proposed building from North Street:

Update: The horrible building is still there…

But there is movement. Mr. Cataldo provided an update to me earlier this month, “you may see some activity there, but as you can see in the memo this entire project has been very challenging, time and cost.“. You can read the full memo below, but in summary, there is a web of complicated utility lines that need work. Ultimately, everyone’s goal is to get this building demolished, but it must be done safely and correctly. I am hopeful that this summer we will see progress.

  • Recap:  PB approvalDecision
    • They also appeared at the May 4, 2023, meeting to provide an update to the board. In summary, they have obtained their Chapter 91 license, have selected a GC and are getting them under contract, and are working on the conditions they must resolve prior to issuance of a Building Permit.

“The Exchange” Crescent Lot/252 Bridge Street (Current open surface parking lot at the MBTA Station)

Current site:

Recap: This project will constitute Phase 1 of a two-phase project. Phase 2 will consist of the redevelopment and preservation of the historic County Commissioner’s Building and Superior Court Building, located at 32 and 34 Federal Street. This project cannot begin until phase 2 is approved.

In Phase 1, the applicant specifically proposes to construct a mixed-use building with parking on the ground level, approximately 11,705 square feet of commercial and amenity space on the first level, and 120 residential units on the floors above. The proposed work includes razing any existing improvements and construction of the new building.

There were a lot of conversations and discussions around the connections this location holds, specifically for those traveling from North Salem.

Links:   PB approvalDecision

Proposed view from the bridge: (You can see the full presentation here)

This project has a large portion of affordable housing:

  1. Forty percent (40%) of the housing units shall be set aside as affordable housing units. IN summary: 46 units will be affordable to households with 60% of area median income (AMI) or lower, and another 11 units at 30% of AMI of lower.
    1. You can read the full details on this requirement in the Planning Boards approval here.

GROVE STREET APARTMENTS (60 & 64 Grove St, and 1, 2, 3, &5 Harmony Grove Road)

Links: Planning Board – PB-21-10 Harmony Grove Rd. & Grove St – All Documents ; Decision

You may have seen the construction continuing here – the area behind Boston Street, sandwiched between other recently completed developments. A great new neighborhood! The project runs along the canal (check out the multi-use path project also going on, here)

This project was originally approved in 2012 – YES 2012! And recently came back to the Planning Board for a few adjustments. The applicant requested an amendment to a previously approved plan by reducing the number of units to 124 in three buildings, adding a fitness building, dog park, and basketball court.

Presentation to the Planning Board is here

Links:   PB approvalDecision

If you have any questions on the above, or want to know about other happenings in ward 6, send me a message at mstott@salem.com.