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May 7, 2013

Selectmen hear ideas for former Bradstreet School

NORTH ANDOVER — The selectmen last night heard what Chairman William Gordon called three “solid proposals” for developing the 70 Main St. site of the former Bradstreet School.

All three plans, which call for demolishing the former school, were presented by Hearthstone Realty Corp. Joining forces in the venture are developer William Perkins, head of Hearthstone; Joseph LaGrasse, an architect who has served on the North Andover Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals; and Mark Yanowitz, who designed the recent renovations for 54-56 and 44-50 Main St.

Two of the proposals mix commercial and residential uses while the third is entirely commercial. Scheme 2 calls for erecting two buildings. One, fronting on Main Street, would have space for stores and homes, while the other, facing Saunders Street, would be entirely residential.

Scheme 2 has a total of 16 townhouses and six residential flats.

Under Scheme 3, the 9,500-square-foot building facing Main Street would have stores and offices but no homes. The structure facing Saunders Street would have six townhouses and six flats.

“We lean to this one,” Yanowitz said.

If the selectmen choose Scheme 4, Hearthstone will construct only the 9,500-square-foot commercial building and not the second structure. There would be no homes under this plan.

The first two proposals would provide 57 parking spaces while the third would have 88.

“We’ll do something really cool,” Perkins said. He also said the apartments, with only one or two bedrooms each, will have “no significant impact on school costs.”

Perkins said he has talked to several businesses, including banks, insurance companies and a general store, that are interested in renting space at a redeveloped 70 Main St.

Hearthstone has offered to pay the town $300,000 for the property, which has been vacant since the school closed in 2005. Yanowitz said each of Hearthstone’s plans would provide the town with $84,000 in additional real estate taxes each year.

The board is expected to hear from three other developers, RCG LLC, Oakgrove Residential and Water Street Retail, next Monday night. Town Meeting voted last year to sell the former school.

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