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Marblehead Zoning Board Rejects Callahan Project

by admin on May 16, 2016

A highly controversial proposed assisted living facility in Marblehead was rejected last week by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), amidst concerns that it would adversely affect the neighborhood. Northbridge Companies, the proposed operator of the facility, had announced its intention to use Callahan, Inc. as the general contractor, adding fuel to the opposition.

​The project, which was first debated by the ZBA seven months ago, faced community opposition at every step in the process. Marblehead residents turned out in large numbers at every Planning Board and ZBA meeting, often forcing the meetings to be rescheduled or relocated due to the large crowds. According to The Salem News, the decision was “met with cheers from the audience. There was talk of going out for a celebration and some even had tears of joy” (Salem News, 05/09/16).

Opponents were concerned about everything from traffic and architecture to the use of Callahan. 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 general 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.

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