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Developers break ground on multi-phase Tuscan Village project in Salem

By Melissa Proulx
Union Leader Correspondent

August 10. 2017 9:00PM
Joe Faro, owner of the Tuscan Village property, speaks to those who came to the ground-breaking Wednesday. (Courtesy)

SALEM — Construction on the town’s largest commercial development started Wednesday.

A ground-breaking and ribbon cutting for the townhouse construction project in the North Village part of the Tuscan Village development marked the beginning of a project that will combine residential and commercial elements.

“This is a very exciting day for all of us,” said Joe Faro, developer and owner of the property.

The Villas at North Tuscan Village will consist of 96 townhouse units, and are being marketed primarily as a transitional place to live before buying a home, or for senior citizens looking to downsize.

The buildings will be either two or three stories high and be a mix of two and three-bedroom units.

The plans were given conditional approval by the town’s Planning Board in March. Already, four of the units have been sold. The hope is to have some ready by winter.

In that area, developers are also looking to build a shopping plaza on the 50-acre parcel just north of the Tuscan Village property on South Broadway, between Central, Pleasant and Main streets.

The plaza will have stores such as a Market Basket, HomeGoods and Sketchers. Some restaurants and a drive-thru coffee shop are also part of the plans. This is just one part of a bounty of proposals in the pipeline for the former Rockingham Park site.

“We’re very proud and honored that we could be a part of this,” Faro said.

Demolition of the old Rockingham Park structures began in May to make space for the new construction. Parts of the first phase of the project have been approved, including conditional approval for a 256-unit apartment complex. Other proposed uses include entertainment venues, business and medical offices.

The development will involve 120 acres and as such has been deemed to have regional impact. This means neighboring communities will be treated as abutters and be notified about meetings on the project just as someone who lived or had a business next to the property in town would.

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