New housing coming to Vinnin Square

Rendering of Glover Residences at Vinnin Square. Photo by Thad Siemasko

The Swampscott Planning Board met Monday evening to discuss and vote on an application for the development of the Glover Residences at Vinnin Square which will partially be in Marblehead. The project’s site at 299 Salem St. was once the historic house of General John Glover and later became a popular restaurant.

The Glover Residences site consists of approximately 4.06 acres of land located between Vinnin Street in Salem, Salem Street in Swampscott, and Tedesco Street in Marblehead. The proposal includes two buildings with 96 rental units in Swampscott and one building with 44 rental units in Marblehead.

There will also be 17 affordable housing units. The applicant of this project is Leggat McCall Properties LLC.

The location was once a popular restaurant called The General Glover House Restaurant and was owned by Anthony Athanas. He bought the property in 1957 and the restaurant closed in the 1990s. In 2020, the house was issued a violation notice from Swampscott for being a “blighted or unsafe structure.”

During public comment, many touched on the issue of traffic around the area of the site. While an independent traffic study has already been done in that area, members of the public asked for the Planning Board to perform a new one.

Before going over the application, Swampscott Planning Board Chair Angela Ippolito spoke about the history of this property. She said she felt it was important to speak about the history on the record because “we don’t want to be the people (…) that make this history go away.”

“We don’t want to be the ones that just shut it all down and we never hear about it again,” she said.

The history she spoke about was that of General Glover, who lived in the house and acted as an important figure in the North Shore in the late 1700s. Many in Marblehead know Glover because the regiment, which mostly consisted of Marblehead men, was vital in the successful crossing of The Delaware River on Dec. 25, 1776.

“His residence still standing to this day has been converted into one of the better known restaurants along the North Shore.” Ippolito said. “We will be talking about what we can do to salvage some of that property and what would be the appropriate action to honor the site.”

The board, along with Leggat McCall Properties LLC, examined each section of the application to make revisions. The Swampscott Planning Board voted unanimously to approve of the project.