Property should be used for development
To the editor:
Mayor John Berlin has signed a purchase agreement to spend $450,000 of Salem Taxpayers funds to buy the vacant commercial lot on the corner of State and Lincoln.
According to the Salem News article, the mayor would like to see a gazebo and green space and his reasoning for the purchase is “I don’t want to see it to be a downtown parking lot.”
Really, who would pay $450,000 to convert the most valuable piece of commercial property in downtown Salem into a parking lot?
This piece of property is prime for retail and commercial development which in turn would provide construction jobs, new employment opportunities, bring additional visitors and shoppers to the downtown.
It took a while but private entities are now developing the vacant lots on State Street just like private parties would develop the vacant lot on the corner of State and Lincoln.
The mayor should get out of the way and let private capital do what it does best.