Ward 6: Project Updates

Summer is ALMOST here, and with that, construction season! 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.

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

  • The developers received approval from PB on May 18, 2020. Since then, they received three extension approvals from the Board, the most recent approved April 20, 2023 and running until November 22, 2023. This extension is meant to give them adequate time to secure their Chapter 91 license from the state.
  • I have been told that the project has received all state approvals needed and is expected to begin construction soon – most likely July. There will be no soil removal from the site.
  • A recap on the project: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

  •  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.
  • In this rendering, you can see the proposed building from North Street:
  • And in this picture; Frankin Street is to the left, North Street the bottom, and the River to the right. The “Phase II” portion of the land has not been discussed yet. The project will be located on the portion closer to Franklin Street (where the current building is)

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 finally happening 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

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

Links:   PB approvalDecision

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.

Current site:

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.

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. The Applicant shall place an Affordable Housing Restriction on these housing units in the form acceptable to the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The restrictions shall be in accordance with the eligibility criteria for DHCD’s Subsidized Housing Inventory for the purpose of ensuring that the forty percent of the dwelling housing units will be restricted as affordable housing for households whose annual incomes are sixty percent (60%) or less of Area Median Income (“Low Income Households”) with a sales or rental price affordable to said households as determined by DHCD for a period of fifty (50) years from the date of the original conveyance. The Affordable Housing Restriction(s) shall be registered with the Essex South Registry of Deeds.
  2. Affordable Housing Units must be constructed and ready for occupancy at a  proportion of one (1) affordable unit for every ten (10) certificates of occupancy released for the market rate units. Ready for occupancy means that 1. The affordable units have a certificate of occupancy, 2. The Affordable Housing Restriction has been registered with the Essex South Registry of Deeds and 3. The lottery has been completed pursuant to Section III of the DHCD Comprehensive Permit Guidelines

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.