FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
November 26, 2008 JASON SILVA, CHIEF OF STAFF
78-745-9595, EXT. 5603
Salem Receives Grant for Bridge Street Gateway Study
SALEM, MA – The City of Salem has been awarded a $75,000 Gateway Plus Action Grant (GPAG) administered by the state Department of Housing and Community Development. The GPAG is a new state program designed to support affordable housing and economic development opportunities for mixed-income communities across Massachusetts. A total of 18 cities will benefit from $1.35 million awarded through the program and $75,000 is the maximum planning grant amount available.
Gateway Plus grants are meant to provide assistance for neighborhood or downtown planning activities that expand housing opportunities and that support the revitalization of neighborhoods. The Bridge Street/Route 1A corridor from the Beverly/Salem Bridge to the intersection of Washington Street was selected as the target area for developing a revitalization plan.
“This grant will go a long way in continuing the transformation of this neighborhood and increasing the quality of life of its residents,” stated Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “I would like to thank our legislative delegation for their advocacy, the Patrick Administration and Department of Housing and Community Development for recognizing the need for this funding and the City’s Planning Department for their continued success in securing grant dollars.”
The goal of the Bridge Street Neck Revitalization Plan funded by this grant will be to stabilize and revitalize this mixed-use neighborhood, which serves as a major entrance corridor to the City of Salem and the downtown. The revitalization plan of this important entrance corridor will include an analysis of existing conditions, development of a vision for the neighborhood, adaptive-reuse strategies for foreclosed and abandoned properties, identification of sites (including land assembly) to create a broad range of housing opportunities, review of existing zoning and land use regulations, and recommendations to implement the goals and objectives of the plan to achieve a vibrant neighborhood.
As part of the project, the City plans to outreach and encourage civic engagement to build and strengthen partnerships among the municipality, community-based organizations, and neighborhood residents. A working group comprised of neighborhood residents, businesses, and community-based organizations, as well as City leadership, will oversee the development of the plan. Stakeholder interviews will be held and include a broad cross section of interests and several public meetings will held during the process. With the diversion of a portion of traffic from Route 1A Bridge Street to the bypass road, the City has a significant opportunity to greatly improve the quality of life for this neighborhood by identifying City and private actions that can encourage village type economic development and housing in a