21 Aug 2014
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What Should Go Here at 167 Washington St?

What would you like to see at the Comcast/Water Works building?

What Should Go Here at 167 Washington St? What Should Go Here at 167 Washington St? What Should Go Here at 167 Washington St?

The property at 167 Washington St. has been vacant or only marginally used for several years -- the Comcast signs are still on the building -- despite being located in a busy intersection in Downtown Peabody.

Well, it turns out that new owner Gary Nadeau of Salem is trying to ink a deal with a financial institution, be it a bank or credit union, to take up residence at the corner of Washington and Foster streets.

The City Council unanimously approved a special permit for a drive-through window Thursday night with a couple conditions: the drive-up service can't be for fast food and if in the future the business operation there changes from a financial institution, a new permit will be needed from the council to utilize the drive-through.

There will be two curb cuts at the property, one which would allow access from Washington Street from the rear of the site, but only allow right-hand turns out of the driveway.

Peabody attorney John Keilty represented Nadeau that night. He said Nadeau purchased the property recently -- deed records show Nadeau bought it from Comcast in June for $400,000 -- and has received inquiries on it from several businesses, none of which were fast food restaurants, but mostly banking institutions.

It was Keilty in fact who pre-emptively requested the council approve the permit with that particular condition.

"In the event a bank doesn’t go forward…I thought the council would be most interested in not granting a special permit for fast food," he said.

Councilors agreed unanimously, saying they were glad to see some activity at the site and understood that a permit in hand would likely improve Nadeau's odds of leasing the property.

"I think it would help that corner out tremendously," said Councilor-at-Large Dave Gravel, referring to bringing a financial institution there.

"That building is a beautiful old building, so I’m kind of hoping whoever gets in there takes the cement off the windows and restores the interior and the building," he added.

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While it may seem like you can bank on the future use of the property, do you like that plan or would you rather see something else go there?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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