Saugus selectmen approved the town’s purchase of a multi-family home at 42 Jackson St. last Friday (July 13), giving the town two pieces of contiguous property in Cliftondale, clearing the way for potential parking.
“Having these two properties leaves a lot of options open,” Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree told selectmen.
The common thinking around Town Hall is that the two properties – the house and the former bank building at 481-483 Lincoln Ave. could be raised to create more space for parking.
“Parking isn’t going to solve the problem,” Crabtree said
“We’re thinking about ways of putting us in an advantageous position. I think you get a restaurant that creates foot traffic … different things that build off each other,” he said
Crabtree told selectmen that he thought the first order of business should be to develop a plan for the area.
“That could be controversial in itself. There are people who want low income housing there,” he said.
Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano said he thought “it would be nice to see all those buildings come down,” he said, creating more options for future development.
Crabtree said the most desirable kind of development for Cliftondale would be a restaurant or a business that could generate foot traffic.
Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini noted “there’s a lot of moving parts’ ‘ in any plans to revitalize Cliftondale.
“We can’t force building owners to make investments in their properties,” Cicolini said, referring to one particular challenge.
“It’s still exciting stuff, but a lot of work to be done,” he added.