Developers Michael Charles and Brian Cohan are still due for their site plan review at the planning board and will continue to work with the historical commission. They will also collaborate with the town on a number of conditions attached to the permit. The Powerhouse Square project is expected to break ground by summer.
It was a messy night at Town Hall. In the end, Benchmark Development got a green light to proceed with its plans to design a second building planned for a parcel on the historic Searles Castle property.
Benchmark’s principals had informally brought the plans to the Historic District Commission meeting and were met by the reality that the land parcel’s proximity to Searles Castle and its carriage house may raise some hoops to jump through.
The chemical perchloroethylene, a known carcinogen and hormone disrupter, is “isolated to a small area in the building,” Benchmark Development’s Michael Charles said, adding that the contamination was not found in the groundwater.
Benchmark Development has entered into contract for three land parcels that include the current Co-op location; the parcel behind it that stretches into the Searles Castle property;, and the location of the new Co-op, to be situated on what is currently its parking lot and the former Laramee’s Cleaners block.