SALEM, N.H. — Change is underway in Salem, and several large retailers, restaurants and businesses are eyeing the developments.
Roughly a year after developer Joe Faro and his team broke ground on Tuscan Village, there are no signs of the race course and stables that stood in Salem for more than a century. The site is now a blank canvas — save a few artifacts from the racetrack — with buildings quickly popping up and more than 100 trucks and bulldozers scurrying around.
As some of the first elements of Tuscan Village near completion, Faro discussed the project and unveiled some of the new tenants coming to town.
Crews are near the finish line on constructing the 96 townhouses and 256 apartments.
The townhouses start at $469,900 and the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments start below $2,000 a month. Renters will begin moving in this August.
The Ford car dealership along Broadway is scheduled to open in mid-May, and construction on Phase Two will start this June.
When it's finished, the $1 billion mixed-use development will bring in more than $11 million annually in taxes and 6,000 permanent jobs to Salem.
Faro revealed Wednesday that the development will now also include a continuing education campus with a nearby university and a new upscale Market Basket prototype store with a cafe, more prepared food options.
He is also in discussion with co-working/office space company WeWork, Trader Joe's, Legal Seafood, L.L. Bean, Restoration Hardware, The Container Store, a craft brewhouse, a Spanish tapas restaurant and an upscale bowling alley. The potential tenants have not yet signed agreements to open locations in Salem.
Faro said that the mixture of retail, residential, healthcare and other space is appealing to the corporations that he has talked to about filling 200,000-square-feet of business space and financial wise.
"When talking to these businesses about a corporate headquarters, I've found that they want to build where their employees can get benefits. Where they can run a quick errand or walk over and have a meeting at a wine bar," he said.
The latest site plan, which was released this week, no longer shows the 350,000-square-foot blue-and-yellow design district/retail anchor that was included in signage documents filed with the town late last year. The images prompted some to speculate that furniture store Ikea would be coming to Salem.
Rather, a medical facility led by Massachusetts General Hospital and Catholic Medical Center will fill up to 300,000-square-feet of space kitty-corner to Interstate 93 and Rockingham Park Boulevard.
"I'm so excited about this Mass General plan, because it's going to be so much more impactful," Faro said. "Sometimes, the best deals are the ones you don't make."
The medical centers signed a letter of intent earlier this month, and are still determining what services they will offer in Salem.
The full Tuscan Village development is expected to be completed in 2021.