Page 8 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE – Friday, June 21, 2019 Demolition of historic buildings to be delayed A By Tara Vocino n overwhelming number of residents recently spoke out against demolishing what they feel are historic buildings during a public hearing at the Malden Senior Center. The Planning Board held its first demolition delay hearing regarding the redevelopment of historic buildings at 1 Salem St. and the adjacent property at 15 Ferry St., which is currently occupied by the Teen Enrichment Center and Christopher Fallon’s law office building. According to City Planner Michelle Romero, the Malden Historical Commission voted that 1 Salem St. is a preferably preserved building and its demolition is to be delayed for 12 months. The commissioners requested that the applicant work with the commission and city officials to redesign the project. As for 15 Ferry St., the commissioners said it is also a preferably preserved building and its demolition will be delayed for one year. Like the Salem Street property, the commissioners requested that the applicant work with the commission and city officials to redesign the project and recommended keeping the building in its current location and eliminate it from the project. The applicant, Yongcheng Wang, is proposing a six-story, mixed-use building with underground parking, 52 residential units, grade level retail establishments and second floor office Applicant Yongchen Wang is proposing to build condominiums in a mixed-use building; however, many residents argue that the building is historic. Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow said while he doesn’t want a dangerous building, its historical nature warrants a delay in the demolition. Ashland Street resident Jonathan Bekemeier said it struck a nerve to think about the buildings at 1 Salem St. and 15 Ferry St. being torn down. idents and city officials spoke in favor of delaying the demolition. “My heart is sunk,” Forest Street resident Linda Porro said. “I’m tired of seeing what I grew up with fall apart.” Ashland Street resident Jonathan Bekemeier said it struck a nerve thinking about the buildings being torn down. “I urge you to think long and hard,” Bekemeier said. “Contemplate the craftsmanship in these buildings … its character and uniqueness should be embraced.” Bekemeier went on to say that the buildings shouldn’t just be remembered through photographs. Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow said there aren’t a lot of buildings with this kind of character and when a building is modernized, a sense of place is lost. “We don’t want a dangerous building, but at the same time, there is a historical connection that warrants a delay,” Winslow said. However, Concord Street resAttorney Roberto DiMarco, counsel for developer Yongcheng Wang (Advocate Photos by Tara Vocino) space. “Most residents are arguing that it’s a historic zone, but it’s not – it’s next to one,” Wang said after the meeting. “I’m disappointed.” However, his attorney, Roberto DiMarco, said it’s encouraging to see how much citizens care about the city and that they will Building Commissioner Nelson Miller said a licensed professional needs to assess whether the buildings can be repaired. find ways to work together to find a solution. “It has a lifespan of 50 years – it’s well past that,” DiMarco said during the hearing, with sketches in hand. “The building is falling apart and it can’t continue.” Building Commissioner Nelson Miller said it is tough to say Concord Street resident Emily Kibbler was in opposition of delaying the demolition for safety reasons. whether the building can be repaired. Planning Board members were in favor of delaying the demolition, seeking an independent opinion, preserving the buildings and asking what the practicality is of moving the buildings. Approximately 25 resident Emily Kibbler was in opposition of delaying the demolition. “It’s not safe,” Kibbler said. “I’m looking for a place to buy a house and this could be it.” Similarly, Leon Li said when he moved to Malden eight years ago, rent was $1,500 per month – now he pays $3,500 per month. “Over half of my salary goes to rent,” Li said. “You see the difference – that’s why I want to buy a condo here.” Tara Vocino may be reached at printjournalist1@gmail.com. 54 OAKES STREET EVERETT, MA 02149 Phone (617) 389-2448 www.saseverett.com Friday, June 21 at 8:30 PM Back by Popular Demand VINYL GROOVE Saturday, June 22 at 8:30 PM Preschool to Grade 8 (PreK program starts at 2.9) Christian Values & Strong Academics Before/After School Programs Extra-Curricular Activities Financial Assistance Available Come and see the difference we can make in the life of your child! 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