GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 5, 2013

Change in plans seen for Tool Co.

ROCKPORT — The short-term plan remains the same for the Cape Ann Tool Company site — with demolition permits now in place for the property — but townhouses are no longer projected as the dominant structures to rise in its place.

The town’s selectmen have been notified that Michael Rauseo, who purchased the property last October for about $1.5 million, has new plans for the site.

Initially, Rauseo said he was on track to move forward with plans that had been advanced by previous owner Christopher Kaneb and his Old Colony Maritime LLC, who sought for years to convert the plot of land on Granite Street into about 24 townhouses with room for parking and commercial space.

But in an email to the Times, Erin Battistelli, who chairs the town’s Board of Selectmen, said the current plans are different from the townhouse plans, and that Rauseo now plans to divide the property — which measures about six acres — into 14 different lots.

The area would contain public parking and access that extends along the portion of the property facing the water. Maritime use would also include boat access and a proposed water taxi, she said.

Battistelli added the area could see a mixed commercial and residential use, with one lot would include the existing brick building.

Officials acknowledged Rauseo still had to file his plans with appropriate town boards and committees for review.

Rauseo or his attorney could not be reached for comment on Monday.

In January, Rauseo sought out the demolition plans for the building and in February, he was issued them. The town’s Building Inspector, Paul Orlando, said Rauseo now has about six months to use the permit before it expires.

The state and local permits for redevelopment of the site which were transferred to Rauseo and granted a two-year extension through state legislation in August 2012. The initial plans had called for 25 residential units, a commercial space, public parking and a waterfront area on the property.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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