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January 31, 2013

Four-story Salem office building proposed

Crosby Advisors' project could house 200 workers

SALEM — Town boards are beginning their review of a four-story, 75,000-square-foot office building project on Keewaydin Drive that would house 200 financial services workers.

Behind the development is Crosby Advisors, a business that manages holdings of Fidelity Investments owner Edward “Ned” Johnson III and his family.

Crosby moved to Salem from Boston two years ago.

“This goes a step beyond anything out there in terms of quality,” Planning Director Ross Moldoff said. “It is a four-story, first class office building. This is something you would typically see in Andover or Boston.”

The building, to be built at 28 Keewaydin Drive, would house 200 workers, he said.

The Planning Board has a conceptual review scheduled with developers Feb. 12.

But the Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear about the project Tuesday.

Moldoff said a zoning variance is required. The four-story height would exceed town regulations that limit development on the property to three stories.

In terms of actual height, the area is zoned for buildings no taller than 45 feet. The proposal calls for a 61-foot structure.

The project also would include another element Moldoff said is atypical for development in the Salem area. That is a two-level, underground parking garage.

Crosby Advisors occupies space at 11 Keewaydin Drive. Moldoff said he did not know whether the project involves relocating employees from that building or if this is an expansion of the Crosby workforce.

The project also will be before the Conservation Commission because it involves filling wetlands, Moldoff said.

An issue town officials will discuss is eliminating a planned connection between Keewaydin Drive and nearby Stiles Road they previously approved.

“This company does not want that,” Moldoff said.

Planning Board Chairman Robert Campbell said the town had approved the connection between the roads for traffic management.

“It would alleviate traffic somewhat on Pelham Road,” Campbell said.

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