Growth spurt

The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
January 2, 2017

SALEM — Get ready for some growing pains. At least a dozen major construction projects will be underway in the city in 2017.

Developments that will either begin or end construction — or both — this year include the Salem Suede, Salem Oil and Grease, and Flynntan sites; The Gateway Center, Hotel Salem, Hampton Inn, City Hall Annex in the former Red Lion Smoke Shop, and several other major projects. And this will be happening as massive capital projects continue on Canal Street and Lafayette Street, and design work begins for Boston Street.

Then there’s Peabody Essex Museum, where construction work, which has already started on its expansion, will continue throughout the year.

Footprint Power will fire up its generators on Salem Harbor in July, and North Shore Medical Center will be digging in for a massive expansion on the opposite side of the city.

The coming year stands to be a long one, with construction throughout the city. Hotels will launch downtown, and along Bridge Street, a whole neighborhood will be created out of empty space, blighted fields from the city’s industrial past.

“This is a growth spurt for Salem,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “We’re seeing both public and private sector investments taking shape.”

And they’re definitely not projects that came together at the last minute.

“Many of these things have gone through the permitting stages months or years ago,” Driscoll said.

Other projects are continuing in the planning and development stage, including F.W. Webb’s expansion on Bridge Street, the eight proposed residential units targeting the old Ward 2 Social Club site on Collins Cove, and a massive cineplex project on Highland Avenue.

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