$2M business-residential project proposed for Salisbury Square

Courtesy photoAn artist’s rendering of the proposed Sail Lofts, a 10,000-square-foot commercial building with retail, office and possibly a floor dedicated to collaborative workspaces on Beach and Bridge roads in Salisbury. The proposal also calls for developing two residential townhouse buildings, consisting of an eight-unit building and a five-unit building.

SALISBURY — A roughly $2 million commercial and residential development could soon take the place of a long-vacant gas station in Salisbury Square.

The proposed project would consist of a three-story commercial development – to be called the Sail Loft – at 3 Bridge Road and a 13-unit, townhouse-style complex located behind it at 4 Beach Road.

“Salisbury doesn’t have something like this, at least not yet,” said local attorney Rob Ciampitti. “We are hopeful that we might be the first to bring something like this to Salisbury Square.”

Ciampitti and Charlie Palmisano are partners in Liberty Real Estate Strategy LLC, and the two have been working with the town for “the better half of a year,” according to Ciampitti.

“We have a particular interest in Salisbury Square because we have seen such a momentum of revitalization through the Institution for Savings and the new (Salisbury Public Library), Town Hall, the CVS,” Ciampitti said. “There seems to be a momentum and a trajectory that has captured our imagination.”

Ciampitti said the 10,000-square-foot commercial development will include retail space on the first floor, offices on the second and a shared collaborative work space on the third.

The 13-unit residential component would be developed by Downeast Building and Development LLC of Salisbury and is expected to offer two- and three-bedroom units with outdoor parking.

“This will give us plenty of pedestrian access and activity, and places people in connection with their space,” Ciampitti said. “We are not having them go from the seclusion of their cars to the seclusion of their garage, to the seclusion of their homes and never cross paths with their neighbors.”

The commercial component is scheduled to stand on the property of what had previously been – depending on whom you ask – an Amoco or a Getty gas station and auto shop. The property is between Salisbury House of Pizza and Gulf Oil.

Ciampitti said the former gas station’s underground tanks have been removed, which Town Planner Lisa Pearson also confirmed, but the property has become an unsightly mess.

“A good part of the effort here and tedious groundwork was examining, verifying, vetting and reconfirming the environmental cleanup that had gone on on that site,” Ciampitti said. “It was a gas station, and like any gas station, it should be treated with a higher level of care and scrutiny. And it was.”

Both properties are owned by Jeffrey Carroll of Lynnfield, according to the Salisbury Assessor’s Office. The .45-acre property at 3 Bridge is assessed at $311,200, while the .74-acre property at 4 Beach Road is assessed at $185,400.

Ciampitti and Palmisano are also partners, along with Mike McCarthy, in Liberty Law on Liberty Street in Newburyport, and live in the area.

Ciampitti said Liberty Real Estate Strategy intends to work with a “hyperlocal team” of contractors to make the project a reality.

“As hyperlocal guys ourselves, we are excited about working locally and investing locally,” he said. “Investing locally, we feel is the height of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is.”

Ciampitti admitted the plan is ambitious, but ambition “is a good thing,” he added.

“We came across an opportunity to reactivate and revitalize a beleaguered site and we feel like this is a great time for something like this,” Ciampitti said. “It is a reactivation of this part of the square. We feel that it is in line with the current momentum and trajectory of the development and elevation of the square.”

Liberty Real Estate Strategy LLC’s proposal is scheduled to go before the Planning Board for a public hearing Wednesday.

“This is a very well-thought-out project,” Pearson, the town planner, said. “We have been working with the developer on it for about a year now and are excited to see it move forward into the permitting stage in front of the Planning Board on Wednesday night.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.