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June 9, 2014

After downturn, city's commercial climate is on upswing

(Continued)

But real estate professionals remember when developers proposed two-dozen single-family residences off modest Russell Terrace Extension, an offshoot of Storey Avenue.

The project has been a big success.

Open space was carved out, houses built and marketing launched. All houses sold in the $485,000 to $515,000 range, suggesting that people really want to live in Newburyport.

One building proposal that appears to be facing opposition is a commercial project that is slated for the corner of Storey Avenue and Low Street.

Tropic Star Development is proposing a pharmacy, convenience store and revamped Shell gas station at the busy corner, but the Planning Board last week continued the matter yet again.

Members know the facts because Tropic Star was here two years ago, but the development company says it is working on its plans so they coincide with the city’s guidelines.

Almost two dozen residents appeared at the board’s meeting last week, and many said they wanted to protest the addition of more venues that will add to traffic congestion.

Many communities would welcome the arrival of a motivated developer who has the financing to put in three commercial structures.

But a vocal portion of residents of the Clipper Way-Woodman Way area don’t want more shops in their neighborhood and this one could be a battle — as it was two years ago.

And here is where the rubber could meet the road in terms of community dynamics — what if a well-financed project that meets all zoning standards is opposed by some of the local citizenry?

Does it win approval?

Public hearings will likely be held throughout the summer as a company that wants to make money in Newburyport is opposed by (some) residents who like the community just the way it is.

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The following meetings have been scheduled for this week and are open to the public:

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