City Council grants 1-year extension request to special permit holder for planned Charles Street marijuana dispensary
By Steve Freker
She has witnessed plenty of game-changing moments in her 10 years serving as Ward 8 Councillor. Even still, there always seems to be a first in an, at times, eclectic community like Malden. At a recent City Council meeting, Jadeane Sica made it clear how she feels about the latest news regarding one of the two major residential living complexes in her ward.
When the shovels first hit the dirt about 20 years ago at the massive expanse of land now known as Overlook Ridge, the site was known as the largest remaining plot of undeveloped property in the city. Since then, a whole new mini-community has arisen at the Malden-Revere city line adjacent to the northwestern end of Lynn Street, with dozens of buildings containing over 2,400 apartments. Add a planned “first” in Malden history to the story of Overlook Ridge – the city’s first hotel.
A representative of the developer of the final phase of Overlook Ridge, Winn Development, explained in the Public Comment section of the June 6 City Council meeting that plans call for not only the construction of Malden’s first hotel at the site, but some creative affordable housing construction. Included in final plans is a hotel at the edge of the residential complex.
“There will be affordable housing in the new construction, along with a portion of it dedicated to residents aged 55-plus,” Councillor Sica said, “and the first hotel in Malden. I’m excited about that.”
The longtime Ward 8 Councillor, who was first elected in 2013, has seen Overlook Ridge emerge as one of the top residential locations in the Greater Boston/North Shore area. “It’s the final phase of a development that began 20 years ago,” Councillor Sica added.
Drew Cormier, a Winn Development representative, gave a brief synopsis of the plan at the June 6 meeting during the planned public comment section, noting that he and other Winn reps have had extensive meetings with a joint planning board group from Malden and Revere on the development plans. Cormier said his company would need a zoning change for the land parcel before construction could begin, since the land is now zoned for commercial use. Aside from the hotel, the chief use of the land will be for residential living. “We plan on attracting lots of interest with our 55-plus housing and other amenities,” Cormier added.
City Council grants 1-year extension to special permit holder planning marijuana dispensary on Charles Street
Trinity Naturals, which has opened a new marijuana dispensary in Chelsea, was granted a 12-month extension of its special permit by a unanimous, 10-0 vote of the Malden City Council on June 6. In the course of doing so, both parties in the situation, Councillors and Malden-based Attorney Robert DiMarco, publicly confirmed that no Malden city officials –including the City Council – had any role in the delays behind the opening of Malden’s third marijuana dispensary.
Ward 8 Councillor Jadeane Sica made that clear during a discussion regarding the request by the company’s owners, DMS Trinity Naturals. “There’s some misinformation out there that the City Council has delayed this project,” Councillor Sica said at the June 6 meeting. “There’s been talk [in social media and elsewhere} that you went to Chelsea because Malden was taking too long.
“We just want it to be made clear that none of us here on the Council has hindered this project – the Malden Cannabis Licensing and Enforcement Commission (CLEC), Planning Board or City Council,” Sica added.
Attorney DiMarco concurred at the meeting. “Nothing was done by this city to delay this process,” DiMarco told the Councillors from the City Council Chambers podium at the livestreamed meeting. “We are a small business and there is a different timeline than these big conglomerates who are opening businesses in this line in other communities.”
DiMarco pointed out that DMS Trinity Naturals, who plan to open at 36 Charles St., the former home of a busy autobody repair business, has sunk over $400,000 into its bid, on planning and preliminary construction work on the project.
The City Council, acting on favorable recommendations from Malden CLEC and the Malden Planning Board, first approved the special permitting in 2019. Since then, DiMarco said, “The world has changed.”
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world, basically, in March 2020, including any progress for the Charles Street dispensary. “COVID happened and construction costs are up 14% since the permit was first granted. It is more difficult for small businesses to deal with under those circumstances,” DiMarco said.
“These are good people, good owners and they want to be good partners for this city,” the Malden attorney added, noting that DMS Trinity Naturals is planning on actively working toward an opening here in the late fall, optimistically,
City Council unanimously votes to deny Second Hand Dealer’s license after unfavorable police reports
Reports of apparent unsavory business practices – including alleged possible unloading of stolen merchandise – appear to have influenced the Malden City Council’s unanimous vote to deny the renewal of a Second Hand Dealer’s license. The license was connected to Cash King, operating a pawn shop at 41 Lebanon St. Ward 1 Councillor Peg Crowe explained at a June 6 City Council meeting that Malden Police had appeared at a recent City Council License Committee meeting. There, several Malden officers, including Sgt. (Ret.) David Ritchie, told how they had observed a pattern of suspicious activity at Cash King in recent months.
The main observation Ritchie reported at the City Council meeting was a substantial pawning of new tools, still in boxes. Ritchie said surveillance of the establishment revealed a steady stream of those pawning off these new tools and tool sets. He said MPD got together with loss prevention personnel from Target and Home Depot, and their combined efforts identified men and women who allegedly made a beeline from the two Everett shopping mall locations, right to Cash King, where they allegedly dumped their goods.