Salem St. mid-rise OK’d

Oct 22, 2020 by

Published in the October 22, 2020 edition.

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — A 19-unit mid-rise apartment building will be built at 581-583 Salem St. after getting the green light from the Zoning Board of Appeals last week.

The project will be built on two existing parcels with a combined area of 24,638 square feet. The former Crossfit 128 gym sits on one of the parcels. That building, along with a two-family home on the other parcel just to the east, will be demolished to make way for the new building.

To the west of the proposed site is a WMGLD storage yard. Route 128 is to the north. The site is mostly in the business zone, with a small triangle in the rear that is in the Single-Family residential zone.

Representing the applicants, Granitz Family Trust, attorney Brian McGrail submitted draft conditions and some cleanup items at last week’s ZBA meeting. He also presented an estimated construction schedule, which would have demolition beginning in April 2021 and the project completed by June 2022.

The board confirmed that a six-foot white vinyl fence will be erected along the west side of the property, providing some screening between the site and the MGLD storage yard.

McGrail went over the draft conditions with the board and made some minor changes.

Of the 19 apartments, 16 will be two-bedroom units and three will be one-bedroom. Two of the two-bedroom units will be designated as “affordable,” along with one of the one-bedroom apartments.

At last week’s final hearing on the project, no one from the public appeared before the board to offer testimony. 

The Zoning Board granted the Special Permits and made the necessary findings to allow the project to move forward.

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The board also discussed an application from Micah J. Canestaro to convert a single-family home at 101 Cedar St. into four apartments. The building is the former location of the Children’s Gathering pre-school at the corner of Albion and Cedar streets.

The board discussed various aspects of the project with Canestaro and his attorney Brian McGrail before continuing the hearing to its Oct. 28 meeting.

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The ZBA granted a variance for front setback relief that will allow David and Holly Stead of 8 Walnut St. to construct a front porch on their home.

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The ZBA also discussed a plan to upgrade the former Wakefield railroad depot building at 25-29 Tuttle St., including signage. The building currently includes four business condominiums, including Harmony Re/Max. 

Attorney Brian McGrail represented David Ladner, the owner of the unit that houses the real estate business. Ladner has spearheaded an effort to upgrade the building, including repainting the mustard yellow exterior to a maroon color.

The sticking point came with respect to signage. Ladner was asking for an internally lit sign for his real estate business on the side of the building facing North Avenue and the railroad tracks.

However, the ZBA a number of years ago adopted a policy of not allowing internally lit signs. Ladner did his best to convince the board to make an exception, but board members told Ladner that they would prefer to have the sign illuminated in some other way.

The hearing was continued to Oct. 28.

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