SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 24, 2013

$45M project proposed

Downtown development would include stores, residences

(Continued)

“It brings the rest of Salem to this location,” said Tom Daniel, the city’s economic development manager.

Driscoll is expected to file a request with the City Council tonight “to get the ball rolling.” City councilors have been briefed over the past few days.

The city would have to give up 38 metered parking spaces along Washington Street, but RCG has agreed to include at least that many public parking spaces in the 275-plus spaces planned for this development, officials said.

Although RCG officials said they are ready to go forward, they did not lay out specific numbers of offices, storefronts, residences and hotel rooms during a briefing yesterday.

“Some mix of those,” Picarsic said. “It depends on how the market responds.”

Picarsic said they are considering a large “anchor” retail tenant, possibly an urban grocer, and have had talks with operators who feel a hotel would be “viable.” Right now, RCG said it is trying to stay flexible.

“It’s hard to predict what the market is really going to support,” Picarsic said.

The 275 parking spaces would be provided on three levels incorporated into the development, Picarsic said. There are no plans for underground parking or a stand-alone garage.

Driscoll noted that RCG is proposing a $45 million private development on land that is “underutilized” without asking for a tax break, which a number of other recent projects have received.

“This is a long time coming ...” she said, “where the market can really support a market-rate development.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.

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