, Salem, MA

Local News

June 19, 2013

Developer plans $20M plaza

Beverly: Brimbal Avenue complex would have stores, restaurants, bank, medical offices

A proposed land swap with the state would allow a private developer to build a $20 million shopping plaza on Brimbal Avenue with stores, restaurants, a bank and medical offices.

The plaza, to be called North Shore Commons, would have about twice as much commercial space as the Commodore Plaza in North Beverly.

The plans are included in the city’s 2012 application for state funding for the Brimbal Avenue interchange project. The private developer, Steven Cohen of CEA Group of Cambridge, wrote a letter in support of the city’s funding request, saying his company is ready to start construction “at the earliest possible date” once the land swap takes place.

The shopping plaza would be the first development as a result of the Brimbal Avenue project, which is intended not only to improve traffic flow from Route 128 to local roads but to spark major economic development in the area.

The city has applied for a $5 million state grant to construct the first phase of the project, which includes replacing the connector road between Sohier Road and Brimbal Avenue to alleviate traffic that sometimes backs up onto Route 128.

The new connector road would be built on land now owned by CEA Group. The state and CEA Group have proposed swapping parcels of land that would enable the state to build the road and would give the developer a larger plot of land on which to build the shopping center.

The state-owned land that would go to the developer is now cut off from development by the present connector road. Mayor Bill Scanlon said the land swap would be about equal for both sides.

Cohen did not return calls for comment on North Shore Commons. But the city’s application for state funding for the interchange project said the plaza will include a 35,000-square-foot anchor store, three restaurants, a regional bank, and retail, medical and office space.

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