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Re-development stalls on Swampscott school

Sketch for the proposed Greenwood Ave. Redevelopment project. This was on display at the Community forum at Swampscott High School for information and feedback.

SWAMPSCOTT — Residents could be living in $1.1 million luxury boutique condominiums that took over the former middle school by mid-November.

Developers originally estimated the project would be completed this month, but Tom Groom, owner of Groom Construction, said the timeline was pushed back because of the weather and demolition taking longer than anticipated.

“There was also a lot of asbestos that we found,” said Groom. “It took longer than we anticipated but we’re almost on track.”

Plans for Fisherman’s Watch, a 28-unit condominium complex at the former middle school on Greenwood Avenue, began in 2016 when Groom Construction entered into a purchase and sale agreement for the building with the Swampscott Selectboard.

“During the first World War, when the original building was built, people could stand on the roof of the building and look out at the water to look for boats coming in,” said Amy Weed, director of sales and marketing for Fisherman’s Watch. “It was where Fisherman’s beach is. That’s where the name Fisherman’s Watch came from.”

Several two- and three-bedroom units are already under reservation, said Swampscott’s Community and Economic Development Director Marzie Galazka. The units range in price from $700,000 to more than $1.1 million. Each Fisherman’s Watch living space is between 1,400 and 2,500 square feet and has a different layout.

Last month, developers submitted a request to increase the height and length of two of the property’s five-car garages. A mistake in the original measurements would have kept drivers from opening their car doors in the garages.

Galazka brought up the developer’s request at a Selectboard meeting last Wednesday. The panel is the only entity that can approve a modification under the Land Development Agreement.

Board members instead voted to appoint a sub-committee, headed by Galazka, as representatives to determine further minor modification requests from the developer. Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald and Planning Board Chairwoman Angela Ippolito were appointed to the sub-committee.

Galazka said she met with the developer and several of the abutting neighbors on site and only one had an issue with the modifications. The abutter raised concerns about a site line. Groom said he is in the process of addressing the concern.

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