SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 3, 2013

Developer purchases key downtown building

PEABODY — The O’Shea building, a landmark property in Peabody Square at the corner of Main and Foster streets, has been sold for $1 million.

“It’s the cornerstone of the downtown,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who is hoping the sale will not only revitalize the building but contribute to his plan to boost the entire downtown. “I’m hoping some great business can go in there.”

Until now, the building has deteriorated, and part of it is vacant, he said.

Bandar Development of Middleton purchased the building from the Karavolas family with the help of a $250,000 loan from the city. That city money comes from funds raised through a federal Urban Development Action Grant, the mayor said.

Dan Bandar, who runs Bandar Development with his brother Hany, credited Bettencourt with inspiring his decision to buy.

“We were introduced to the mayor through mutual friends,” Dan Bandar said. “He started talking about his revitalization of downtown Peabody. We were blown away by his energy. ... And we wanted to be a part of that.”

A recent downtown face-lift, including new sidewalks, greenery and a new traffic configuration, also influenced the Bandars’ decision to buy in Peabody. “There are plans in place for the city to come back to its (past) glory,” Bandar said. “We bought it because we know it’s going to have value.”

The O’Shea building dominates the block and features the striking architecture of a past era.

“It’s the perfect building, beautiful, old and historic,” Bandar said.

The structure has been home to some offices, the Dollar Store and the China Corner Restaurant.

“We met with all the tenants, and we told them that, really, nothing is going to change for them,” he said.

On the other hand, Bandar couldn’t say exactly what else he plans for the structure.

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