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Callahan Project in Marblehead Faces Community Opposition

by admin on April 11, 2016

Residents in Marblehead have mobilized to oppose The Mariner, a proposed assisted living facility, due primarily to the project’s size and scope. At a recent planning board meeting residents strongly criticized the developer, Pleasant Street LLC, which has identified Callahan, Inc. as its general contractor.

The project has faced severe backlash since September of 2015, when resident turnout forced a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to be rescheduled in order to accommodate a large crowd (Salem News, 10/24/15). A Zoning Board hearing in January saw the submission of over 50 letters regarding the project, with residents testifying on issues ranging from light pollution and drainage concerns to traffic in the area, which is currently primarily single family homes (Marblehead Wicked Local, 01/14/16).

Residents of Marblehead have also questioned Northbridge Companies, the operator of the facility. A Facebook page run by residents includes a link to negative online reviews of other Northbridge communities, including fall hazards, old buildings, concern over the care of loved ones, and exorbitant costs. Northbridge routinely uses Callahan as its contractor, including recent facilities in Burlington, Plymouth, and Wayland. On the Plymouth project — PineHills Independent Living — Callahan hired Universal Drywall, which is currently being investigated by the Attorney General for illegal misclassification of workers and wage theft, as well as Force Corporation, whose violations have been detailed in a previous newsletter.

Opponents in the community are now calling for a full investigation into this project.  A Lynn Item Live article last week called for “cooler heads to step into the Mariner controversy and ask a few basic questions” (Lynn Item Live, 04/04/16). This full-scale review should consider whether the Mariner is best for the Marblehead community, as well as whether the choice of Callahan as a general contractor is best for Marblehead.

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