NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 20, 2013

New vision of Salisbury Beach proposed

Beachfront owners present their own plan for beach center

(Continued)

Instead, the new vision is for a condo-centered “bedroom beach,” with some commercial included in a “mixed use” manner, he said. The reasons for the change are financial and social. The goal is to change Salisbury Beach from a summertime-party-place, and to encourage a 12-month community of year-round residents that can support businesses, he said, as well as families of summer vacationers.

To recruit one master developer, Capolupo said, the new plan has to offer a host of amenities built by the public sector. Such improvements are required to entice a master developer’s huge financial commitment, and his or her belief that the development would attract not only investors and capital underwriters, Capolupo said, but ultimately people to buy the condos and open businesses there.

Public sector improvements include a newly designed boardwalk encompassing all of Ocean Front South, making the whole street a pedestrian-way that’s elevated to keep it above the wave velocity and storm flood zones.

Where the former Sidewalk Cafe once stood, there would be a “comfort station,” with a children’s playground, modern bathrooms and rinsing stations for beach-goers, and a shaded area where people, including the handicapped, can get out of the sun and enjoy viewing the beach.

Along with an enhanced version of Broadway, the new plan calls for a permanent, open-sided, oceanfront stage on a raised platform.

The one completely new option is a fishing pier that would extend about 500 feet into the ocean. Capolupo believes getting it permitted won’t be as difficult and as might be imagined, in spite of environmental restrictions, for the pier could be a joint venture with fisheries and wildlife agencies smoothing the way.

Costing millions to permit and construct, Capolupo didn’t discuss how to fund the public sector improvements Monday night.

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