Newcomb Street Parcel Stays in City’s Hands for 2 Weeks More; Mayor Asks for Vote Delay

Councilors will have to wait two more weeks to decide whether to declare three parcels on Newcomb Street surplus and make them available for sale and redevelopment.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini (pictured) had submitted a request for the council to vote this week to release the property and allow the city to seek proposals for development.

However, Fiorentini was unable to attend Tuesday night’s meeting, and asked that the council wait until he could be present for the vote.

The council will not meet on April 17 due to Patriots Day. The issue is scheduled to be considered on April 24.

The 20 Newcomb St. property is worth roughly $300,000. According to paperwork provided to the council, Fiorentini is hoping for a developer to raze the wood-frame house abutting the City Hall parking lot and rebuild a multi-family residential project in its place.

Any project would require the developer to grant an easement for vehicles to enter the City Hall parking lot from Newcomb Street.

In other action, councilors approved a retroactive raise for members of the city’s firefighters union. The raises, for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, amount to 2 percent each year.

The council also placed on file a request for a senior housing overlay zone on a 24-acre parcel off East Broadway. The Planning Board and City Council will hear plans for a 30-unit development of upscale homes restricted to those 55 and older to be built on the site of a former gravel pit owned by Ralph L. Buzzell.

The project, if approved, will be developed by Larry Smith, who has over-55 housing in West Gloucester and Magnolia on the North Shore.

The public hearing on the project is scheduled for June 5.