BY TOM DALTON
---- — SALEM — A new car dealership that plans to move to Salem has been handed the keys by the city.
The Licensing Board last week unanimously approved a license for North Shore Mazda despite opposition from a neighbor.
North Shore Mazda intends to open at the former Stutz Volvo site on Highland Avenue. Owner Joseph Shaker said earlier this month that he would move the dealership from Danvers to Salem within a month of obtaining the license.
The Salem News could not reach Shaker Friday, but his attorney said those plans remain unchanged.
“As of now, he’s ready to go,” said Salem attorney Joseph Correnti.
However, the license approval faces a possible legal challenge from Young World Academy, a preschool and day care that has an ongoing legal battle with Stutz.
“We intend to appeal,” said Arthur Goldberg of the Boston law firm, Nathanson & Goldberg. Goldberg said he is waiting to see the board’s written decision, but expects he will contest it in Salem Superior Court.
Young World, which is located on Green Ledge Street next to the dealership, has pending Land Court cases against Stutz over the use of the street and other issues.
“We think there are use and safety issues,” Goldberg said.
North Shore Mazda told the board it will not deliver cars in the morning when children are arriving at the day care and will address any other serious safety issues.
Shaker is the head of Shaker Automotive Group, which has a half-dozen dealerships in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including Wellesley Mazda. It recently acquired North Shore Mazda from the Ira Motor Group.
If North Shore Mazda moves to Salem, it will become the city’s only new car dealer.
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.