SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 11, 2014

Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt's inaugural speech

(Continued)

The first was an old fashioned sidewalk bazaar which brought hundreds of people downtown to eat, shop and enjoy a festive atmosphere of music, art and culture.

In October, we brought Halloween back to Peabody Square when hundreds of costumed kids and their parents trick or treated door to door at Main Street shops and restaurants.

And just last month, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on Main Street to take pictures with the kids and spread some Christmas cheer.

Taking notice of our commitment to revitalize downtown Peabody, developers recently purchased No. 9 Main Street – historically known as the O’Shea Building – with ambitious plans to build a boutique hotel and restaurant in the very heart of Peabody Square.

Similarly, a developer purchased the adjoining building, which currently houses Congressman Tierney’s district office in its ground floor. The long abandoned upper floors are slated to become one and two bedroom condominiums helping to meet our need for additional downtown housing.

These two projects alone hold the promise of injecting millions of dollars into downtown Peabody - the largest such investment in over half a century.

Centennial Park is on the rise.

Much like downtown Peabody, Centennial Park is critical to Peabody’s economic resurgence. In the early days of my administration, I convened a business and economic development council made up of local business leaders, city officials, and every day citizens. Thanks in part to their efforts, Centennial Park will soon be home to a 40,000-square-foot retail and office complex just off of Lynnfield Street. These new shops, restaurants, medical and professional offices will provide valuable amenities within walking distance of many of Centennial Park’s largest companies. This is the most significant expansion of Centennial Park in years and a tremendous boost to our efforts to attract new business to Peabody. It is also exactly the type of development we had in mind when we proposed re-zoning Centennial Park to allow for expanded uses other than industrial. I want to thank outgoing President Tom Gould and the City Council for their leadership on that important re-zoning initiative.

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