A local development firm has acquired a former nursery off Route 113, with plans to develop the 58-acre site into an upscale residential complex. Symes Associates of Beverly paid $4.4 million for the tract, with company officials announcing plans to begin work immediately.

As part of its agreement with the seacoast community, which borders New Hampshire, Symes will sell nine acres to the city for construction of an elementary school. In addition, Eastport Real Estate Services will build a 10,000-sf child care facility, while another 25 acres will be set aside for open space. The residential portion will yield 68 single-family homes, says Symes principal Jeffrey Rhuda.

Engineering work was performed by Hayes Engineering, Abend Associates, and TLPP, while acquisition and construction financing was provided by Salem Five Cents Savings Bank. Symes is a diverse development, management and holding company that owns such assets as the Lakeside Office Park in Wakefield, retail centers throughout Eastern Massachusetts and 225 apartments in several communities north of Boston.

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