COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2014
Legislature Approves Salem District Court Conveyance
(Boston) – On July 31st the Legislature voted to pass a bill that approves the land-transfer of the former Salem District Court from the state to the Salem Redevelopment Authority (SRA). The sponsors of the bill, Representative John Keenan and Senator Joan Lovely, along with Mayor Kimberley Driscoll voiced their enthusiasm for the bill’s passage.
“With all the development momentum in downtown Salem, this project couldn’t come at a better time,” said Representative Keenan. “Across the street from the new train station and with North River views, this location is a home run for a mixed used project. I’m convinced the SRA will have many suitors for this parcel.”
“With this approval from the state, the city can now begin to plan for the redevelopment of the property in a way that makes sense for the city and maximizes its benefit,” said Senator Lovely. “The city has performed a number of successful redevelopment projects in the past and the transformation and reuse of the Salem District Court site presents another exciting opportunity.”
“I would like to thank Representative Keenan and Senator Lovely for their advocacy on this important piece of legislation,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Once the property is transferred to the SRA we will be able to begin the process of having it redeveloped, similar to the successful process we undertook with the Old Salem Jail. Because the district court is such a critical anchor building in our downtown it is especially important that it not sit dormant and underutilized for too long. Through this legislation we now have the tools and capacity to help better activate the upper end of Washington Street through the redevelopment of the now-vacant courthouse. This will contribute jobs, tax dollars, and an increased vibrancy to our active downtown here in Salem.”
Representative Keenan and Senator Lovely filed the bill on January 22, 2013, the beginning of the two-year legislative session. The bill calls for the Commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey the state-owned land with the former Salem District Court at 65 Washington Street in Salem to the Salem Redevelopment Authority. The land conveyance is contingent upon the approval of the Salem Redevelopment Authority.
The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature