Proposed Salisbury Beach condo project

The beach-side view of the project before the Salisbury Planning Board.

SALISBURY — The Planning Board reviewed revised plans for the 235-unit One Oceanfront condominium complex Wednesday night.

It marked the second time representatives from Big Block Development Group introduced their project to the board.

Big Block Development Group, comprising the Capolupo, Nabhan and Mulcahy families, initially planned to construct a $130 million, 240-unit condominium complex at the corner of Broadway and Oceanfront South in 2017.

But the developer appealed the board’s 2018 approval of the project to state Land Court, citing dissatisfaction with the 44 conditions. 

The court remanded the matter to the board in late December. Project executive Steve Paquette and architect Dale Gienapp presented the new plans to the town before a public hearing Wednesday night.

"Thanks to the collaborative efforts of everybody, we are here tonight with what we believe is a dramatically improved project," Paquette said.

The new plans call for a reduction in units — from 240 to 235 — as well as roughly 7,187 square feet of leasable commercial space on the Broadway side of the property.

Big Block Development Group’s new plans also allow for 379 parking spaces at grade level, including six visitor spots, eight handicapped-accessible spots and at least 25 mechanical lift-accessible spaces for additional vehicle storage.

A flood zone-acceptable stadium staircase/commercial deck is planned for the corner of Oceanfront South and Broadway. It would connect to the public, seaside boardwalk.

Three outdoor common spaces are planned on the fifth floor, where a dog park would also be included.

The plans also call for the restoration of dunes near Salisbury Beach. Pavement would be removed along the eastern half of the property and replaced with 34,000 square feet of sand.

The project will cost more to build, according to Big Block Development Group managing partner Wayne Capolupo.

Capolupo told The Daily News that he expects the project's initial $130 million price tag to increase by roughly 8 to 10%, given rising construction costs over the past two years.

"We estimate another $10 million to $13 million," Capolupo said.

Town Manager Neil Harrington voiced his support for the project Wednesday night, saying it would help revitalize Salisbury Beach. 

“This is vitally important to the future and the image of the town of Salisbury," Harrington said.

Harrington added that it has not been easy for the project to get to this point, but said the work has been worth it.

“This is not a perfect project but, hopefully, enough people see there is enough good in the project that working with some of the other efforts that are going to be made both on the private side and with the public side, we can begin the revitalization of the beach center that we really, really need," Harrington said.

Selectman Freeman Condon voiced his support, as a resident, for One Oceanfront.

"There are those who will tell you that the rebirth of (Newburyport) was due to the introduction of boutique shops and selling T-shirts and coffee mugs and the influx of restaurants," Condon said. "I can tell you firsthand they are wrong. The revival of that community began with the cleanup of the blighted, neglected and unused waterfront."

Board members expressed concern with an easement between the project and the neighboring Ocean Echo condominium development as well as trash removal.

The public hearing was continued until the board’s meeting Feb. 12.

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.

 

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