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GA Blog: Marblehead

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3.9.15 Habitat for Humanity Lottery - 2 Ipswich Condos

6-8 First Street, Ipswich, MA

Wicked Local reports that Habitat for Humanity is building two affordable condos at 6-6 First Street in Ipswich, MA.   The two, 3-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom duplex condominiums (“condexes”) will be side by side in one building, originally built in 1890 as workforce housing for the Ipswich mills.  The interior, currently in terrible condition, will be gutted and rehabbed. The exterior will be restored to what it was historically. 

Habitat has already built three homes on Essex Road, across the street from the Bruni Market Place.

The town took the First Street property for nonpayment of taxes and the property is now part of the Affordable Housing Partnership, said Terry Anderson, affordable housing coordinator.  The town put out a request for proposal to rehab the building and chose Habitat for Humanity.

Each condo is to be sold for approximately $130,000, at no interest.  

The homeowner will be chosen by lottery among qualified buyers - those who live or work in Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham or Rowley.  The chosen buyer will be requires to spend 400 hours of construction duties as a condition of the purchase.

There are income requirements - the family’s total gross income must fall within the specific ranges based on family size: Three members, $33,880 to $50,820; four members, $37,640 to $56,460; five, $40,70 to $61,020; and six $43,700 to $65,520.

The application deadline is April 30.  

Read the entire Wicked Local article.

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9.12.11 Essex Coastal Byway to get New Signage

The Marblehead Reporter recently announced that the Essex National Heritage Commission was awarded with a $220,000 grant from the federal Highway Administration to install directional signs along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The commission also received $55,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation,

The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, which spans 85 miles and crosses 13 towns and cities along the North Shore, highlights many areas that hold cultural and historical significance in coastal New England. Essex Heritage along with community officials and businesses are hoping to boost awareness of the roads significance.

“I am pleased that the Essex National Heritage Commission has been able to leverage state and federal funds to help improve the byway. This will help further the byway’s ultimate goal of expanding the shared income opportunities of our region’s small businesses and local tourism industry.” said Congressman John Tierney.

Read the entire Marblehead Reporter article.

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4.4.11 Marblehead YMCA Property to Become Bank Parking Lot

17-unit housing complex proposed at former YMCA site on Pleasant Street in Marblehead

According to the Marblehead Reporter, the land in downtown Marblehead that was once the site of the YMCA has been purchased by the National Grand Bank, located across the street, and turned into a parking lot.

Original plans of turning the space into a mixed-use building, with both residential and commercial space, came to an end when former land owner George Wattendorf of GVW Inc., decided he would sell the property rather than build on it. GVW’s plans for a mixed-use development had been approved by the Marblehead Planning Board on February 1, 2011, under affordable housing laws (above). The property was purchased by GVW for roughly $800,000.

President Jim Nye of Grand National Bank explained that the bank’s clientele has been expanding and that the nearby lot was too good of an opportunity to pass up. “We are thrilled that GVW was willing to listen,” Nye said, “We know it was extremely difficult for the Wattendorfs to sell, but we are happy to be able to purchase such an important parcel of land in downtown Marblehead.” Nye did not discuss the price the bank purchased the lot for.

Read the entire Marblehead Reporter article.

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10.8.10 $22.2 Million Transfer Station in Marblehead

According to the Daily Item, the $22.2 million transfer station construction project in Marblehead is getting scrutiny from one of the members of the Transfer Station Building Oversight Committee.  Patrick Van der Voorn, an attorney with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr who has experience with solid waste projects, told his colleagues and the Board of Health that he was one of the 63 voters who opposed the project at Town Meeting in May when it was defeated as part of a debt-exclusion override election.

Van der Voorn said later that he voted against the proposal because he is familiar with the current transfer station and "I read the Finance Committee recommendation and I was struck by the cost. It seemed to be more of a building than we needed."  The Transfer Station Building Oversight Committee was created to "evaluate and determine the design of the transfer station," with an eye toward the "cost needs and practicality", according to Board Chairman Helaine Hazlett.

Read the entire Daily Item article.

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5.7.10 Pleasant Street Marblehead Improvement

According to the Marblehead Reporter, Massachusetts awarded Marblehead $400,000 in state transportation funds to support improvements to the Route 114/Pleasant Street corridor from Village Street to Smith Street in Marblehead.  The project is focused on improving pedestrian safety along a busy section of Pleasant Street, including roadway realignment, new sidewalks and traffic-signal modifications, wheelchair ramps and crosswalks along with pedestrian-crossing warning markings and signs.

Read the entire Marblehead Reporter article.

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2.23.09 Search Continues for New Marblehead Housing Board Member

The Daily Item reports that Marblehead Selectmen continue the search for an at-large member of the town’s newly formed Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board. Appointees will serve two-year terms. Selectmen run for re-election every year.

The Board will oversee funds provided to the town by the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which started with $52.5 million for local communities that want to create and preserve affordable housing. In the past five years bond sales were used to generate another $350 million.

Anyone interested may send letters of interest to the selectmen's office at Abbot Hall, 188 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA 01945-3341

Read the entire Daily Item article.

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