, Salem, MA

February 13, 2014

Letter: Beverly’s waterfront upgrades much appreciated

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I would like to congratulate Mayor Scanlon and his administration for the great improvements that they made to the Beverly Harbor waterfront.

Early in Mayor Scanlon’s tenure, the city of Beverly purchased the Glover Wharf property. This property is made up of the Glover Wharf Marina on the water side, and on the land side is the former McDonald’s building. The marina, the adjacent sea wall and the pile-supported deck leading to the marina were all in need of repair. The city of Beverly was able to secure a state-backed Seaport Bond Bill grant to rebuild all of these areas. Today, there are all new concrete floats at the marina. Leading to the marina, a new concrete deck has been constructed. A new sea wall has been constructed here also. New lighting and new railings have been installed around the perimeter of the new deck. All of these improvements have made this area a very safe and attractive location for the public to enjoy. Since this project was completed three years ago, Beverly Harbor Management Authority has held an annual Harbor Fest event here. This event has been very popular and well-attended.

There is the commercial marina, which is located between the Glover Wharf Marina and the new Salem-Beverly bridge. This marina accommodates the commercial fishing boats, the harbormaster’s boats and the city’s emergency boats. The floats at this marina were in poor condition, as were the anchors and chains securing them in place. The city again was able to secure state funding via the Seaport Bond Bill to construct a new marina here. All new floats were installed here with electric power available to the slip owners.

On the land side, the city was able to save the fairly new and very well-constructed Glover Wharf building. This building was moved from the Glover Wharf site to the land area above the commercial marina. This building will be used by the Beverly harbormaster and the city.

The city has worked tirelessly to find a suitable use for the old McDonald’s building site. About eight years ago, a Request for Proposals was put out by the city for this site. Joe Luoni, the owner of the Black Cow restaurants, was the only respondent. Mr. Luoni proposed building a Black Cow restaurant on this site. ... The city and Mr. Luoni have worked for the last eight years to bring this vision to a reality. ...

Frank Kinzie, who owns the abutting Port Marine property, has chosen just the opposite course as the city of Beverly. He has filed lawsuit after lawsuit to stop the city’s progress on the Black Cow project. Mr. Kinzie could have gone to the state and applied to build something on his property just as the city did. Instead he chose to sue the city and attempt to stop the city’s progress. What if Mr. Kinzie had taken all of the time and money that he spent over the past years in litigation with the city and instead invested it in his own property? Had he taken this course, probably he would have something there now that he could be proud of.

Because of the litigation ... all parties have lost. The Kinzies have spent time and money on litigation and not developed their own property. The city has expended its resources defending these lawsuits. The citizens of Beverly have lost. We are not yet able to enjoy a nice restaurant on our waterfront.

In closing, I tip my hat to Mayor Scanlon and his administration for all the great improvements they have made to the Beverly Harbor waterfront.

Charles Raymond