By John Toole
---- — 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.
Though the Planning Board first heard of the project from developers last fall, Campbell said he is unaware of any feedback from businesses or residents concerned about abandoning the connection plan.
Joe Friedman, president of Brooks Properties, a development company that has been active on both Stiles Road and Keewaydin Drive, said he is aware of the proposal, but hasn’t taken a position.
“Not at this time. I don’t know if we will take a position on it,” Friedman said.
Plans on file with the Salem Planning Department identify the developer as Osomor LLC.
Records filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s corporate division for Osomor and Crosby Advisors LLC list the same person as business agent, Kimberly Contreras.
Fidelity Investments did not return a phone call, nor did the engineering firm working on the project.