Apartment building proposed for Gifford Marine site

May 9, 2018

The old Gifford Marine property on Dartmouth Street could see new life as senior housing if developers are able to secure the proper special permit to proceed with construction.

According to plans submitted to the Dartmouth Planning Board, its owners propose to demolish the existing 31,283 square-foot Gifford Marine building, located at 676 Dartmouth Street, and replace it with a 55-unit apartment building.

Claremont Companies purchased the property in 2011 for $1.15 million, as well as the nearby Rite Aid. The company also owns the Solemar apartment complex, although it is unclear if the project relates to a Solemar III project listed on the company's website for completion in 2019.

The proposed building would be three stories tall and include an underground parking garage along with an outdoor parking area. As part of the project, an additional driveway on Edgeworth Street, a detention pond, and drainage improvements are also proposed on the 5.1-acre parcel of land.

The project is proposed under the town’s senior housing bylaw, which allows developers to construct age-restricted apartment buildings targeting the senior population. Apartments would be available to those age 55 or older.

A special permit must be secured to proceed with construction. Planning Director John Hansen said when considering such projects, the Planning Board takes into account a number of factors, including the number of proposed units, building architecture, potential impacts on existing local businesses, and traffic concerns.

Hansen said assisted living facilities have been approved in the past through the bylaw process, but this is the first independent living apartment building to have been proposed through the town’s senior housing bylaw.

A public hearing on the proposal and the special permit request is scheduled for May 21 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall Room 315.

The project developers could not be reached for comment.