EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 5, 2013

Salem firms could be taken by eminent domain

Intersection project may send businesses packing

SALEM — For 50 years, Daisy Cleaners has served residents at 14 S. Broadway. Sugar & Spice Bake Shoppe has been at 4 S. Broadway for nine years.

Now, both may be forced to move as the town begins a major reconstruction of the intersection of Routes 28 and 97.

Representatives from the engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin presented plans for the project to selectmen Monday night. The project, first proposed more than 20 years ago, is expected to reduce traffic and improve safety at the heavily congested intersection.

But to eliminate the lines of cars backed up there each afternoon, several business properties may be taken by eminent domain, depending on the project’s scope.

Those businesses include Daisy Cleaners and Sugar & Spice.

When Sugar & Spice opened on South Broadway, owner Brian Costa knew he would have to move his business someday because of the much-anticipated road project.

The building, which he leases, may be torn down to make way for the widened roadway.

“You have to move, you have to move,” Costa said yesterday. “It is what it is. Whatever happens, happens.”

Daisy Cleaners and a handful of other businesses may have to relocate as well, depending on whether a sidewalk and raised median are built.

But selectmen, except for Patrick Hargreaves, said Monday they didn’t think the sidewalk and median were necessary. They agreed with James Keller’s suggestion that enough space be left so a median could be added in the future if needed.

Jim Desjardins, owner of Daisy Cleaners and vice chairman of the Salem Depot redevelopment committee, said he has come to terms with the fact he may have to relocate his family’s longtime business.

“Am I excited I have to move? Not really,” he said yesterday. “But if that’s what it takes to help — to make that improvement, then that’s just what I will do. My business will be OK.”

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