SALEM, MA (May 13, 2022) - WinnCompanies, an award-winning real estate developer and manager, has applied to the Salem Planning Board for approval to build The Exchange Salem, a 120-unit, transit-oriented, mixed-income apartment community on the site of the municipal parking lot adjacent to the city’s MBTA station.
The proposed building is one component of a larger development that includes the renovation and rehabilitation of the historic Salem Superior Courthouse and County Commissioner buildings are located at 32 and 34 Federal Street. The application for The Exchange Salem starts the permitting process for the overall development. Permitting for the historic courthouse buildings will begin later this year.
Both phases of the redevelopment have earned the endorsement of the Salem Redevelopment Authority (SRA) and received schematic design approval in 2021.
“The adaptive reuse of the courthouse buildings and the construction of new mixed-income housing will advance the City’s longstanding goal to redevelop this area in a way that brings activity, connection, and accessibility to the northern end of downtown,” said Tom Daniel, executive director of the Salem Redevelopment Authority. “We are very pleased to work with WinnCompanies to move this project forward.”
The project originated with a request for proposals (RFP) organized by the SRA in 2019 following intensive community planning efforts based on the SRA’s Urban Renewal Plan and the Imagine Salem community visioning plan. A team led by WinnDevelopment, the development arm of WinnCompanies, was later selected as the SRA’s preferred development partner.
“This transformative project will deliver much-needed, transit-oriented, mixed-income rental housing that reflects the City’s goals to create more affordable and workforce housing in this area, enhances the public realm, and strengthens the connection between North Salem and the city’s core,” said Ramie Schneider, senior project director for WinnDevelopment. “We have enjoyed working collaboratively with the SRA and the community during the past year, and we look forward to continuing this constructive partnership with the Planning Board in the months to come.”
The majority of the 120 apartments proposed for the one-acre lot at 252 Bridge Street would be studio and one-bedroom apartments, with some two-bedroom apartments. Approximately half of the apartments would be considered affordable housing, while the remaining units would be comprised of workforce and market-rate apartments.
The development’s design embraces the changing elevations of the site by adding open space on the river level while also improving pedestrian and bicycle connections leading to and from the higher Bridge Street elevation and the lower level MBTA station.
Parking for residents will be provided in a gated 55-car garage at the base of the building, as well as through parking passes for use at the nearby city-owned parking garage. Located on the Bridge Street level, the floor above the building’s parking garage will offer approximately 7,500 square feet of space for residential and commercial uses.
The new building’s facade incorporates stone tones to align to the character and aesthetic of the courthouses across the street, along with wood features that add a layer of warmer color and texture. Apartments will be designed with modern finishes and features and will include in-unit laundry and a full amenity package for residents.
In addition to WinnDevelopment, The Exchange Salem project design and implementation team includes the Salem law firm of Correnti & Darling; attorney Deirdre Robinson of the Boston-based law firm Robinson+Cole; the architectural firm Cube3 of Lawrence; VHB, a civil and transportation engineering firm based in Watertown; Odeh Engineering, a Boston-based structural engineering firm; Landworks Studio, a Salem-based landscape architectural firm; Wozney Barbar & Associates, a mechanical engineering firm based in Hanover; and Public Archeological Laboratory (PAL) of Pawtucket, RI.
As the courthouse buildings and The Exchange Salem continue to advance in the local and state approval process, WinnDevelopment will look to add partners to the project team who can help successfully activate and execute on the overall vision for the properties.
The Planning Board submission comes one year after the development concept was first introduced to a joint meeting of the Salem City Council and the SRA. Since then, the development team has hosted and participated in numerous meetings with the SRA’s Design Review Board and neighborhood groups to incorporate community feedback and ideas into the proposal.
The Planning Board’s first meeting on the project is expected to be held in June 2022.