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Assisted Living/Memory Care Facility Proposed for Salem Street

The project would include 87 units.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.

Benchmark Senior Living, which has more than 45 facilities in New England including one in Waltham, is looking to construct an 87-unit assisted living/memory care facility at 320 Salem St.

The proponent was before the City Council last week for a special permit to build the structure of a five-acre parcel that abuts Salem, Washington and Cedar streets.

The 87 units would include 67 units for assisted living and 20 units for memory care, said the developer’s attorney Mark T. Vaughan, Riemer and Braunstein, according to the City Council Journal prepared by City Clerk William Campbell.

The 20 memory care units will be on the ground floor and they will be a secure unit.

Vaughan said the proposed use would have “little impact” on city services and that it won’t have much of an affect on traffic.

Benchmark included potential traffic improvements to the Cedar, Washington and Salem streets area. The developer is preparing traffic mitigation plans, including additional traffic control equipment and “geometric improvements” at the three intersections that form the perimeter of the property, according to Brett F. Gonsalves, senior engineer, Woburn Engineering Department.

John E. Corey, Jr., PE, city engineer, said his department has been working with the developer’s traffic engineers over the past several months on traffic signal improvements. Corey said the plans “would process traffic more efficiently.”

The City Council voiced some concerns, including Alderman Michael Concannon who spoke about the size of the building footprint and wanted to make sure the facility would be affordable for the average Woburn resident. Alderman Michael Anderson also said he’s concerned that the facility may dominate the neighborhood.

The City Council voted unanimously to continue the public hearing at the July 15 City Council meeting and referred the matter to the Committee on Special Permits.

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