Welcome to The Salem Partnership's website. The partnership differs from other business organizations as its role is to focus on large economic development projects.
The renovation and expansion of the Courts Complex in Salem
This has been a longtime project for The Partnership. We are happy to report that the renovation and expansion of the J. Michael Ruane Judicial Center is now complete and in full use by district, juvenile, superior and housing courts. The former Baptist Church is now the Law Library and is the cornerstone of the new courts complex. The Law Library is open to the public. We encourage you to visit it as it is truly magnificent.
However, there is still much work to be done in order to complete this project.
- The renovation of the Family and Probate Court is a key component of this project .The initial study has been certified and the design phase is underway. A public meeting is to be scheduled in early fall. We anticipate that the design will be completed in early 2014 and renovation will take approximately fourteen months. One positive development is that DCAM has now decided to remove the 1970 addition and keep the building in its original 1912 design.
- The third phase of the courts complex is the reuse of the Superior Court, County Commissioners Building, and the District Court. Legislation has been submitted to remove these three buildings from under DCAM’s auspices and place them under the Salem Redevelopment Authority. We will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure that the two historic facilities and the District Court are put to appropriate use on a timely basis.
The Salem Port Development Project
The redevelopment of Blaney Street continues into its third phase of this $20 million project. The first and second phases are complete, including construction of a seawall, base pavement and a larger, interim building with ADA restrooms, ticketing and offices, the first 200 ft. of dock, installation of floating docks & accessible gangways and partial dredging. The port facility will include a permanent terminal building, a harbor walk, dock facilities not only for the Salem Ferry but also for cruise ships, and commercial and pleasure boats. The goal is to return the waterfront to an economic resource and provide a pleasant venue on Salem harbor for visitors and residents alike.
The city and the Partnership are working with the new owners of the Salem Power Plant, Footprint Power. The owners plan to demolish the existing plant as soon as it is shut down in May 2014. They plan to build a smaller natural gas plant, estimated completion in 2016. Footprint Power is now going through the permitting process on both state and local levels. Mayor Driscoll has formed a stakeholders committee, including two representatives from The Salem Partnership, that is putting together a Community Benefits Agreement. The owners of Footprint Power have also agreed in principal to allow use of their docking facilities to bring cruise ships into Salem We hope that this will happen in 2014.
Essex Street Pedestrian Mall
The first and second phases are complete. Some concrete planters and the bulletin board kiosk were removed, new trees have been planted, and brick to match the existing brick surface has been installed from Museum Place Mall to Washington Street. This has opened up the mall, allowing room for some tables and chairs, and the response has been most positive. The renovation of the fountain on Washington Street and the inclusion of a water element are parts of the next phase.
The City of Salem, PEM, and The Salem Partnership were awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to create policies and procedures for Public Art. During the past year, they hired a new consultant, held two public meetings, interviewed a wide variety of people, and became involved with a working group to create a Policy and Procedures Document. This document is now complete and will be submitted to the NEA this coming August. The next step in this process is to create a public art commission.
Community Advisory Board for Salem Public Schools
The Salem Partnership formed the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for Salem Public Schools in collaboration with the city of Salem in February 2012. The goal of the committee is to serve as a resource for both businesses and residents to have their ideas and concerns heard and to obtain feedback on their efforts.
This past year the committee has sponsored four public meetings:
- In June 2012, CAB sponsored a presentation by the Mass Math-Science initiative (MMSI). MMSI is a private/public partnership designed to drive a school culture to high expectations and dramatically increase participation and performance in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
- In September 2012, CAB sponsored a community meeting on the Salem Public Schools Improvement Efforts. Mayor Driscoll and Superintendent Russell discussed turnaround efforts. Dr. Roland Fryer; Director of Harvard University’s Education lab was the keynote speaker.
- In January 2013, CAB sponsored a community meeting featuring Chris Gabrieli and Jennifer Davis, Co-founders of the National Center for Time and Learning (NCTL). These nationally recognized leaders shared their successes with hundreds of schools that have redesigned and expanded their schedules to better meet the needs of students and communities. Mayor Driscoll and Superintendent Russell again provided an update on Salem’s turnaround efforts.
- In May 2013, Foundation’s “Education Day”. CAB sponsored an Expo on summer programs for students K-12. Twelve organizations participated. Both participants and parents appreciated the opportunity to interact in this setting.
- A major goal for this committee has been communication. So, besides the four public programs sponsored by CAB, the Salem News has published weekly articles on the Friday Op-ed page since July 6, 2012.
The committee’s future plans include working closely with the school department to implement a volunteer program and another public meeting in the fall. We certainly want ongoing communication and conversation.
The Creative Economy
The Salem Partnership and the Enterprise Center at Salem State University initiated the Creative Economy Initiative on the North Shore in 2004. It was and still is our belief that this segment of the Massachusetts economy is a powerful economic engine for our region and it is the consensus of all involved that this has been a most successful undertaking. See achieved goals under “current projects” elsewhere on this page.
The Salem Partnership and the Enterprise Center at Salem State University have now entered into a collaborative agreement with Montserrat College of Art to move this initiative forward on a larger scale. The goal now is to grow existing creative economy companies, initiate new ones and to act as an economic catalyst between big businesses and entrepreneurs in the creative economy industry.