, Salem, MA

November 18, 2013

Letter: Neighborhood not equipped for Brimbal Ave. work

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Amidst all the recent attention, fluid action of our neighbors and news articles that have surrounded the Brimbal Avenue project development over the last several months, we at Henry’s Market wanted to take a moment here to officially address the citizens of Beverly with our viewpoint on the matter at hand.

Henry’s Market been blessed with the good fortune of sustaining operations for upward of three-quarters of a century now. We highly appreciate and recognize our very own neighborhood/community as being the primary reason that we have been able to provide our goods and services for as long as we have.

We are Henry’s of North Beverly Inc. When we were approached by the North Beverly Neighborhood Association and asked to provide an outlet in which signatures could be collected in an attempt to let the voters exercise their rights, we were happy to help out our good neighbors. Back in 1941, Henry Swanson’s ambitious vision of creating a special place of business, which has far outlasted any of its kind, would never have been made possible without the support he was given by the neighborhood. A neighborhood in which he was able to purchase his goods from nearby farms, and a neighborhood that faithfully patronized the store from generation to generation. In similar fashion, we have always permitted the use of our facilities as a platform for political sign holdings and community-based organizations that also seek public support. With that being said, we respectfully take exception to the unsavory mischaracterization of being labeled as “facilitators of destruction,” brought forth by Mayor Scanlon. We have long since proudly served the city of Beverly and the North Shore area as pillars and strong supporters of the community. We have always embraced change and healthy competition, as evidenced by our consistent expansion of products and services, in addition to having to reinvent our business model throughout the lifespan of our operations on countless occasions.

If yet another large-scale retailer comes into town and we were to become insolvent as a result, then we didn’t do our job to see to it otherwise. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward, and it’s with our full intent to continue to move forward, regardless of what changes may take place.

With regard to the project itself, we have been present at every meeting made known to the public in order to gather as much accurate information as possible. With a project initiative that seemingly was being “fast tracked” and lacked transparency to start, we agree with and support the North Beverly Neighborhood Association with its stance in giving a project of such magnitude and potential detrimental impact on the community the close examination it deserves before moving forward. We, as business owners, witness firsthand on a daily basis what Exit 20 represents from a traffic safety and congestion standpoint. Brimbal Avenue is not a main thoroughfare such as routes 1A or 62; it is a residential neighborhood, not equipped to become an urban sprawl. It is our humble opinion that the area as constituted now is already too congested, and adding an additional shopping plaza with various retailers and multiple restaurants will clearly increase traffic flow and not decrease it, regardless of the implementation of new highway interchanges.

John Keohane

Mike Halle

Henry’s of North Beverly