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September 16. 2013 6:26PM

New medical office building proposed in Salem

SALEM — A proposed new 8,000-square-foot medical office building at 159 North Broadway could help continue the commercial redevelopment of that section of town.

The Planning Board recently held a public hearing on the site plan for the single story medical office and urgent care building proposed by developers AV3 Properties and continued the hearing to give it time to conduct a further engineering review of the project.

The building proposed by the developers would replace the old 3,500-square-foot Service Federal Credit Union building on the property, according to project engineer Mark Gross of MHF Design.

“The original building is from the 1940s and the addition with the drive-through was built in the 1980s,” said Gross. “The piece of property was developed well before zoning was in place.”

The proposed building would be similar in style to other recent construction along the stretch of North Broadway, according to Gross, including the neighboring TD Bank.

A number of different scenarios were looked at for the configuration of the building and the parking, and Gross said the decision was made to use as much of the existing building and parking footprint as possible.

About 3,500 square feet of the building will be used for urgent care medical use, with the remainder being used as medical office space for primary care physicians, according to Gross.

Gross said the building will fit in nicely with the overall redevelopment of the area.

“This will be a great facility for the town and a great redevelopment project for North Broadway,” said Gross.

During the course of bringing the project before the town, Gross said town planning director Ross Moldoff was initially not happy with the architectural design.

“We had the architect meet with (Moldoff),” said Gross. “We came up with a good mix of materials and colors and the classic New England style similar to the TD Bank next door.”

Moldoff said he was happy with the design changes made by the architect.

“Our master plan talks about economic redevelopment of older commercial properties and this is exactly what this (plan) is doing,” Moldoff said.

Although the Planning Board has not given its final approval for the project, several members said they are happy with the plans.

Member Paul Pelletier said he liked the plans and board member Ron Belanger said the design is consistent with the look of much of the development along North Broadway.

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