, Salem, MA

Local News

June 16, 2014

New homes sprout along Porter River

Freestanding houses will be part of a condo development

DANVERS — All that roadwork on Route 62 near the 128 interchange marks the start of a new, 13-home development along the Porter River.

Danvers-based Thomson Companies is building 13 detached, single-family houses in a condominium development called Edmund’s Cove. All of the homes will be set on the river side of a new driveway that heavy equipment is now constructing.

The 10-acre site sits across the river from Plains Park and Holten Richmond Middle School. It should prove to be a prime viewing spot of the Danvers Family Festival fireworks.

The unique part is that they are condominiums, but they are free-standing, single-family homes,” developer Gordon Thomson said.

The wedge of land is bordered by busy Route 128 to the east and the river to the west, but large stands of trees give the site a rural feel. Developers kept rock walls and trees that line the eastern edge of the development on the side closest to the highway. A stockade fence and trees will further shield the development from 128.

The development at 31 Elliott St., has been in the making for seven years, said John Thomson, a partner in the project with his father. The plan first ran into resistance from the Conservation Commission, then was put on hold when the housing market tanked. For years, the site sat idle.

In March, Edmund’s Cove LLC, a subsidiary of Thomson Companies, acquired the land for $1.3 million, and the project is now underway. An existing home at 31 Elliot St. will remain.

A dilapidated home at the entrance to the driveway has been torn down.

In June 2011, the Planning Board approved a decrease in the number of homes from 20 to 13.

The change also removed an age restriction on the homes.

Cheryl Macdonald of Danvers, Gordon’s daughter, is overseeing construction. She said footings for the first few foundations have been installed, and they expect the first home to be finished in September. Six have been sold, and seven are left, John Thomson said.

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