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GA Blog: Wenham
Showing blogs: 1–6 of 13
The Salem News recently reported that the 50-acre estate and mansion known as Penguin Hill in Wenham, MA could be turned into an independent living development with over 230 condominium units for seniors. If approved, building could start as soon as July 2013.
"It is a way to preserve a magnificent property and leave it so the next 50 years will be as distinguished as the last 50," Penguin Hall owner James Mullen said.
In order for the project to become a reality a new special overlay zoning district will have to be approved by Wenham voters at Town Meeting in May. Currently there is no law in the zoning books that would cover this specific project.
The 87-year-old, 20,000-square-foot mansion would be used as the “centerpiece” of the 65+ community. The plan include roughly 150 condominium units that will be “fanning out like wings” from the central mansion. The main building will be used as the grand lobby and a common space including a movie theater, a café, restaurant and a library. Other emendates include an indoor greenhouse, putting green, spa and lap pool.
Units are expected to sell between $350,000 to over $1 million depending on size and location.
The Salem News recently reported that construction of an affordable housing project that is years in the making will begin this week in Hamilton, MA.
Located at 69 Willow Street, Firehouse Place will create a newly improved space for the Acord Food pantry-- which has served for residents of Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Topsfield, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea-- and will also include four, one-bedroom affordable housing apartment units. When first built the building was used as a firehouse.
The Project is a mission of Harborlight Community Partners, a Beverly-based nonprofit organization, and will be supported by Community Preservation Act funds.
Construction of the project is expected to finish in the fall.
Read the entire Salem News article: http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1557867765/Housing-project-gets-off-ground
The Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle reported that in late December, professional landscape developer Kim Ahern presented her plan for Windham’s downtown area to several town committees and interested residents. The presentation focused mostly on the topics of downtown parking and the location of a long-awaited WWII memorial. Some professional landscaping is needed in the area since the city looked past the option during the last major city renovation.
In the initial report, Ahern mentioned that one of the best spots for the memorial might be in the “Car Barn Lot,” located on the corner of Main and Arbor Streets. The usage of the lot has been the focus of much conversation as of late. It may be easier for residents to accept the proposed memorial location since the space that was originally hoped to be used was deemed unsuitable due to drainage issues.
Some other plans of Ahern are to replace older trees in the Town Hall area and Car Barn Lot, adding benches, and creating easier access to the Police Station. Other plans included consolidating street signs, adding a crosswalk and planting lower trees to improve visibility. “Ahern’s goals for the downtown area included keeping open space downtown as a “Common;” using historical precedents; and accommodating town activities.”
Read the entire Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle article.
The Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle reported that Wenham residents and officials are becoming concerned with the lack of parking in the downtown area along Route 1 A, where several local businesses’ success has attracted more visitors. Recent town meetings have focused on the parking issue and have yet to find a solution. One proposal that consisted of turning the nearby historic trolley Car Barn lot into a parking lot was scrutinized heavily by local residents.
The Car Barn lot was donated to the town to be used as a park when the electric trolley company abandoned the building in the early 1900’s. Some local residents are urging the town to honor the original plans of using the space for a park, or even a World War II memorial.
According to the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, the town of Wenham is having its first affordable housing lottery, engineered by the Wenham’s Affordable Housing Trust (WAHT). There are two properties available:
- 105 Pleasant Street - 3-bedroom single-family dwelling on an 8,200 sf lot with 1,260 sf of living space.
- 11 Friend Court #2 - 2-bedroom condominium unit with 1,080 sf of living space on the second floor.
The application process opened on June 16th and closes on Thursday, Sept. 16th at 3:30pm. Eligibility is determined by income, family size and assets. Only first-time homebuyers are eligible and they must meet the eligibility requirements by providing documentation on income, bank accounts, taxes and mortgage pre-approval; they should also be able to make a down payment and have their financial matters in order.
WHAT chairwoman Molly Martins said that Wenham got into the affordable housing arena to reach the state-mandated percentage of 10% affordable homes to prevent Chapter 40B [affordable housing] developments. Wenham is at 8.9% affordable housing and requires approximately 13 more units to reach 10%.
The two homes come with perpetual deed restrictions that keep the units affordable. As with most municipal housing programs, Wenham gives preference for first-time home buyers with local ties: current Wenham residents; families with children in the school system; and employees of the town, school district, Housing Authority, and local businesses.
The lottery for Wenham is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 18. People with questions should contact Wenham’s Housing Consultant Jennifer Goldson at 617-990-4971 or email@example.com.
The Hamilton Wenham Chronicle reports that 6 North Shore communities are collaborating on a regional project to address regional issues, including housing, transportation and open space protection.
Hamilton, Wenham, Beverly, Danvers, Ipswich and Salem won a total of $68,000 in funding for “MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region.” Project activities will include holding public forums to identify local and regional priority housing and economic development districts, priority preservation areas, regionally significant transportation improvements and regional growth centers. The project will start in late summer and conclude by December 2010.
The Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development awarded a $40,000 Regional Strategic Planning Grant which will be matched by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council with an additional $28,000 for public engagement.
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