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12.30.14 Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk Resigns; Takes State Position

Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk

The Gloucester Times reports that Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk is resigning and taking the position of Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in the incoming administration of Governor-elect Charlie Baker.

A division of the Secretary of State’s office, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development employs about 800 and operates with an annual budget of $400 million.  Kirk stated that her duties will include a special emphasis on the maritime economy."

In November Kirk easily won her fourth consecutive election as Mayor, after previously serving two terms on the School Committee.  She has not announced the effective date of her resignation.  According to the city charter, if Kirk's resignation takes effect on or before Dec. 31, the city council will order a special city-wide election to choose Kirk's successor to serve out the remainder of the term. That special election will have to be conducted within 90 days of the mayor's office formally becoming vacant. 

If the effective date of Kirk's resignation falls after Dec. 31, the city council then will have 14 days to elect one of its members as the new mayor to serve out the last year of the remaining term. If the council fails to elect a new mayor within the prescribed two weeks, the sitting council president (currently Ward 1 Councilor Paul McGeary) would assume the office of mayor until the term expires.

Read the entire Gloucester Times article.

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12.10.14 Affordable Housing Proposal in Wenham

Proposed 60-unit elderly affordable housing project on Maple Street in Wenham
The Salem News reports that Harborlight Community Partners is pursuing a 40B project on Maple Street in Wenham.

Read more about Chapter 40B here.

The proposed project would consist of 60-elderly-only units, build on a 18,588sf, roughly 35-foot-tall building on 3.5 acres of land.  About 65 parking spaces are planned, according to Harborlight executive director Andrew DeFranza.

All 60 units will be affordable, one-bedroom apartments measuring 650 square feet.  They’ll rent at two rates: 48 units at $988 for households with an income below 60 percent of the area median income and 12 units at $529 for households with an income less than 30 percent of the area median.

If approved, the project will be financed in part with public dollars.  Harborlight, based out of Beverly, MA who already owns and operates assisted living, elderly and family housing throughout the North Shore, is looking to secure $975,000 from Wenham’s Community Preservation Committee and another $850,000 from the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust.

Read the entire Salem News article.


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12.2.14 Brimbal Avenue Project in Beverly Still On for Spring 2015

Brimbal Avenue, Beverly

The Salem News reports that, despite as stated elsewhere, the $5 million Brimbal Avenue improvement projection is on schedule to begin in the spring of 2015.

The Brimbal Avenue, Beverly project involves building a new connector road between Brimbal Avenue and Sohier Road at Exit 19 off Route 128. The new connector road will be built in the same location as the current road - a rotary will be added to each end of the road in an attempt to improve the traffic flow.

The project will also include widening a section of Brimbal Avenue, along with creating new sidewalks and bike lanes.

According to Beverly mayor, Mike Cahill, the $5 million project is waiting on final approval from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation, which he expects before the end of the calendar year. Once those approvals are granted, Beverly will receive a $5 million state grant for the development.  Mayor Cahill stated that at least one lane of the connector road should remain open during construction.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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11.19.14 Ipswich Celebrates First Period Homes


1670 - Thomas Dennis house - 7 County Street, Ipswich, MA

The Town Common reports that the Town of Ipswich is celebrating its historic homes the weekend of November 21-23rd.

The annual celebration is called “Ipswich Is First… Period” because 59 out of 250 remaining First Period homes in the country — homes built between 1620-1720 — are in Ipswich.  At the festival (this is the fourth year), homeowners highlight the unique architectural, period pieces and also features the town’s quaint town center.  This year’s events feature music, dance, theatre, crafts, tours, talks, food and drink at the various historic locations.

For you more information, visit or read the entire Town Common article.

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11.14.14 NAR Call for Action - Debt Forgiveness

NSAR Members…  This is an NAR Call for (your) Action

Congress must hear your voice on this important issue regarding the

Extension of Mortgage Debt Forgiveness

Realtor PartyThis bit of tax relief legislation will keep those who have gone through a short sale or workout for their principal residence from having to pay taxes on the forgiven portion of their debt. Having to pay this tax is not only unfair but harms families, neighborhoods and communities. Please act now to urge your legislators to extend this debt forgiveness provision.

To use the REALTOR® Action Center to contact your Congressman and Senator

Click Here to Act Now!

It will take just a few minutes of your time.

REALTORS® must remain ‘the voice for real estate”!

Please act now!

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11.4.14 Housing at Cumming Center Beverly Office Park

Cummings Center proposes new housing at office park

According to the Salem News, Cummings Center is hoping to build a 6-story apartment or condominium building on the corner of Elliot and McKay streets.  Management had been trying to build a hotel for 10-11 years, but has now focused on building a mixed-use residential building.

The development could hold about 68 residences. The number will depend on their size and how many bedrooms they have.  Before the company can build the project, it needs a zoning change, which would have to be approved by the Planning Board and the City Council. If the property is rezoned, the company could then apply for a special permit from the Planning Board to build the apartment or condo building.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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