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June 26. 2014 9:48PM

Gym, salon proposed for Salem's Tuscan Village

SALEM — People looking to stay fit and beautiful after eating and shopping at the popular Tuscan Village marketplace may soon have that chance.

The developer of the 5.8-acre Main Street site, which includes a restaurant and a market, wants to build a two-story, 13,000-square-foot fitness center and salon on the parcel.

David Jordan of MHF Design presented the conceptual plan for the building to the Planning Board earlier this week on behalf of developer J & S Investments.

More concrete plans will come before the Planning Board soon, and Jordan said the developer wants to start construction as early as fall.

The building will be near Main Street on what is a gravel lot mainly used for valet parking for the restaurant.

As part of the project, the developer will add 95 paved parking spaces to the west of the buildings to replace the valet spots that will be lost and to provide additional parking for what would be four businesses in three buildings on the parcel.

“The owner does have occupants lined up,” said Jordan. “Half of the first floor space will for a personal care salon, and the other half of the first floor and all of the second floor will be for a fitness club.”

Planning Director Ross Moldoff and the board members were mostly pleased with the proposal.

“I think we are very fortunate in this town to have this applicant,” said Moldoff. “They have done a beautiful job with the two buildings they have developed so far.”

While the reaction was generally positive, there were some questions about parking and traffic circulation on the site.

Jordan said he and the developers would work with the town’s traffic consultant to address the issues.

The plan falls in the town’s Depot Overlay District, which requires buildings to be close to the sidewalk to create a downtown feel.

However, the fitness club would have several rows of parking in front of the building.

Jordan said the owner of the parcel wants the fitness club set back slightly from the road so as not to block the view of the restaurant.

Planning Board member Phyllis O’Grady said she’d rather see the building conform to the spirit of the overlay district.

However, board Chairman Ed DeClerq said he did not have an issue with a possible conditional use permit that would allow the building to be set back from the road.

aswift@newstote.com


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