28 residences proposed for Swampscott school site

The Salem News | By Ethan Forman
January 6, 2017

SWAMPSCOTT — Developers who wanted to build 11 single-family homes on the site of the former middle school on Greenwood Avenue have withdrawn their proposal, leaving only one plan to develop the hilltop site.

That plan calls for a four-story, 28-unit apartment or condominium building.

Groom Construction Co. Inc. of Salem, and its partner BroadReach Development Corp. of South Hamilton, have submitted a bid to buy the property for $0, in return for demolishing the old school at 71 Greenwood Ave.

These developers would pay to demolish and remediate a building that is full of asbestos at a cost of $1.3 million, said Peter Kane, the town’s community development director.

The old school sits on 2.2-acres on top of a steep hill overlooking the town and the ocean. Built in 1893 as a high school, it was added on to over the years, and was last used as a middle school in 2007. It has since fallen into disrepair.

On Thursday, Kane outlined Groom’s proposal at a community meeting held at Swampscott High on Essex Street. The meeting was originally meant to outline the two competing plans, but only one was presented that evening. The forum was for informational purposes, only.

Kane said residents had a mixed reaction to Groom’s plan. Some spoke out against it, hoping for another plan, some wanted to raise money to buy the land for a park, and others favored a smaller project.

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