The road to a new senior center in Salem has been long and controversial. Multiple locations have been considered over the tenure of several mayors.
In 2009, a committee headed by then-Councilors Joan Lovely and Matt Veno vetted several locations for a community life center. After seeking input from across the city, the committee chose three sites to recommend to the mayor.
After further investigation, Driscoll chose the Boston and Bridge streets location, in part because of finances — a price tag of $4.9 million, as opposed to an estimated $7 million at the other locations. Further, she said that tax revenue from the private portion of the building should offset the city’s costs.
The city signed a $5 million purchase-and-sale agreement with developer High Rock LLC to buy a large portion of a proposed four-story building for a senior/community life center. The remainder of the building is slated for professional offices, such as medical and law offices.
The parcel was the site of a Sylvania plant and has been vacant for years.
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.