SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 20, 2013

Cummings to build on Dunham Road site

BEVERLY — Cummings Properties is planning to build a five-story office building on Dunham Road in what would be the company’s first development on the 54 acres of land it purchased in 2011.

The building would go up next to the only building currently on the heavily wooded site, the former Parker Brothers headquarters. A five-story parking garage would be built next door.

Cummings Properties President and CEO Dennis Clarke said the company would lease space in the new building for office and research use, as it does at Cummings Center, its large office park on Elliott Street.

“On a long-term basis we’re very optimistic about the city of Beverly and the Dunham Road site in particular,” Clarke said. “We certainly enjoy our stewardship of Cummings Center and being very much a part of the city there.”

Cummings Properties, which is based in Woburn, bought the 54 acres for $2.3 million in December 2011.

The land, called 50 Dunham Road, is considered ripe for more development because of the anticipated construction of a new interchange that would allow direct access to the site from Route 128, making it more attractive to companies looking for office or research space.

Clarke said the planned five-story building, which he described as “relatively modest,” is not dependent on the interchange being constructed.

“But in terms of the future of that whole neighborhood on both sides of Route 128, that plan to do the interchange is going to make all the difference in the world in what can happen in that section of the city,” Clarke said.

Cummings Properties, however, is in a legal battle with the city over environmental concerns about the property.

The company filed a complaint in Middlesex Superior Court last year over a Beverly Conservation Commission ruling regarding what constitutes a vernal pool on the site and the city’s prohibition against building within 100 feet of the pools.

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