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Sale at public auction! Wednesday 12-07-16 @ 11AM! Vince Michaels auctioneer #1599. Inventory and fixtures, including food products, candy, H&B, clothing, greeting cards, toys, Christmas and seasonal, etc. Items too numerous to mention. 2 6 foot lit showcases, cash registers, dump tables, misc. Racks etc. Everything to be sold to the highest bidder. Inspection 9AM at day of sale. Terms, $100.00 refundable cash deposit. 5% buyer premium on all purchases, 8% for credit cards. All purchases must be paid in full at conclusion of sale. Same day removal. Auctioneers note, store sold brand names for less. Any questions please call 978-531-3848 or 978-771-6586.

 

PEABODY — A yearlong focus on the city center is beginning to pay off for downtown businesses.

Deanne Healey, president of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, said the biggest project of the year was the reconfiguration of Peabody Square, which wrapped up in October.

“From the feedback we’ve received, the general consensus is that people were skeptical at first, but now they’re pleasantly surprised,” said Healey.

The improvements to the downtown will continue into the new year in an effort to ensure that non-residents know exactly what the city has to offer.

Neighborhood organization Peabody Main Streets has been working with a design and wayfinding consultant to create more uniform signage, said Healey.

“We want people to see downtown Peabody as a destination and not a one-stop shop,” said Healey. “Right now the signage in town is not very good. When you get off the highway, every sign points you to Salem.”

Healey said most businesses in the center have been around for a long time and have a consistent client base. The real hurdle, she said, is getting people to linger and try new things.

 

It was a challenge Peabody Main Streets attempted to overcome this year with events designed to showcase the city’s livelier side, such as a pop-up dinner party at East End Veterans Memorial Park in September.

Healey said the group is already looking forward to a pop-up winter-themed bar scheduled for March 4 in the renovated center.

Julie Daigle, business liaison for the city, said Peabody plans to work with a consultant to fill store vacancies downtown.

Daigle named furniture store Manzel Inc. as an example of a business that has been thriving since a recent move from Route 1to Foster Street.

“They’ve done a great job revitalizing the downtown,” said George Kougianos, owner of Brother’s Restaurant and Deli, that returned to Main Street this year after an absence of nearly two decades. “We just happened to have a chance to come back at the same time and we took it. We’re doing great.”

Christopher Ryder, chief of staff for Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jrsaid his hope this New Year’s is to see a continued revitalization on Main Street, not just into 2017 but for many years to come.

Going out of business sale, starting tomorrow, Thursday 9/15, everything must go, 50% off everything! Please stop by, and stock up as much as you can!

 

 

PEABODY — The plan for a Peabody Square hotel, announced with much fanfare at the end of 2013, has been dropped.

The O’Shea building, a landmark property at the corner of Foster and Main streets, announced by Mayor Ted Bettencourt as the site of a “boutique hotel,” won’t be accepting reservations. While the building will still be renovated by Bandar Development and Builders of Middleton, the plan to locate hotel rooms on the upper floors has been abandoned. 

”They came back and told me they wanted to go in a different direction,” the mayor said. “They wanted a residential component and not the hotel.”

 

Developer Dan Bandar said the “configuration” of the historic O’Shea building limits what they will be able to do in transforming it into a hotel. 

”We cannot configure it the way we want to,” he said. 

Instead, the company’s website now indicates those spaces will become apartments. A gym is still slated for the top floor, and a high-end restaurant is being sought for the bottom floor, with a martini bar in the basement. 

Locating a hotel in or near the square remains a key goal for the mayor, and Bandar continues to be involved in that process. 

”We still think the downtown is the perfect location for a hotel,” he said, expressing excitement over a plan to combine dining, entertainment and living spaces. “There’ll be so many options there. ... It’s going to be the epicenter of the North Shore.”

For his part, Bettencourt said, “I think we need some nightlife downtown. And I still like the idea of a hotel downtown and hope we can find a place for it.” A site with available parking is a priority.

A Peabody Square hotel is seen as desirable for visitors interacting with downtown businesses, or with companies at Centennial Park or with City Hall. Additionally, the clientele could include tourists looking to avoid the bustle of Salem, or parents or would-be students visiting nearby colleges such as Salem State University in Salem, Endicott College in Beverly, or Gordon College in Wenham.

 

Bandar is still considering construction of a multistory building, also on Foster Street, at the site of the municipal parking lot, directly across from the O’Shea building. Dubbed 0 Foster Street, it would provide retail shops elevated above ground level, with parking at ground level and apartments plus parking on the upper floors. It’s an area that has been known to flood, but Bandar expressed satisfaction with the efforts at flood mitigation in recent years.

A general redesign of the square is also a component of this effort, with the towering Civil War monument expected to be moved over to a spot in front of the district court. All these projects have involved input from the city. Bandar’s $1 million purchase of the O’Shea building was financed in part with the city’s help in getting the developer a $250,000 loan through a federal Urban Development Action Grant. 

Downtown Peabody is undergoing a transformation, in any case. That includes developer Norman Lee’s purchase of the many properties previously held by Gordon Realty. Making downtown Peabody a place to go has been a top priority for Bettencourt’s administration. It’s a process, he says, that might take as long as 10 years.

”We’re laying the groundwork for a bright future for the downtown,” said the mayor. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done.”