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Press Release



Left to Right:

Shawn Farrell Northfield Properties, James Gebo Northfield Properties, Norman Lee Northfield Properties, Stacey Bernson Assistant Director of Community Development, Karen Sawyer Conard Director Department of Community Development & Planning,

Peter McGinn Ward 2 City Councilor.




Reading Cooperative Bank Finances Downtown Peabody Revitalization



April 9, 2015 Reading, MA – A major revitalization effort, now underway in downtown Peabody, became a reality when Reading Cooperative Bank stepped in to work with the developer to create a financing package that made the transaction possible. The newly formed Northfield Properties, owned by local businessmen Norman Lee, Shawn Farrell and James Gebo recently acquired 14 properties, mostly along Main St., making them the largest residential landowners in the downtown. The complex loan structure required a lender who was willing to get involved in the details of the project and create the financing needed to make it work.

The revitalization hope is to create a dynamic, energetic downtown that provides a vibrant mix of residential and upscale commercial businesses and restaurants. Peabody Mayor, Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr., commented, “This acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for the City of Peabody.  We need to make sure that we have the type of development that we want for our downtown revitalization effort, and I feel very comfortable with the development team comprised of Norman, Jim and Shawn.  We have a good history with them, and they have always done what they said they would do.  I am thrilled to have this team working alongside the City to create a dynamic, thriving downtown.”

Norman Lee of Northfield Properties owns five other properties in downtown Peabody that he has redeveloped in the past five years. He and his partners are excited about the current opportunity, and their role in taking the revitalization to the next level. He remarked on the $8.3 million project, “From the very start of the transaction, we knew it would take a special lender to take this sale to completion. We worked with several lenders, but Reading Coop stood head and shoulders above – in service, flexibility and attentiveness. There was a significant amount of complexity with this deal, but Reading was able to navigate as smoothly as could be hoped in a deal of this magnitude.  We are pleased with our choice of lenders, and look forward to long, fruitful relationship with them.”


Julieann Thurlow, RCB President and CEO, stated “As a cooperative bank, our first priority is to do what’s best for people, so we work collaboratively with our customers and the community to make sure that happens.”

Reading Cooperative Bank commercial lender and vice president, Sean Cummings, added, “Our approach at Reading Cooperative Bank is to roll up our sleeves and work with our customers to find solutions to complex deals. We are happy to be working with our borrowers and the city of Peabody during this important time as the downtown evolves into Mayor Bettencourt’s vision.”

About Reading Cooperative Bank:
Reading Cooperative Bank is a 21st-century community bank with a track record of progress dating back to 1886. The Bank was founded on the principle that profit and growth go hand-in-hand with responsible banking and service to the community – a philosophy that put Reading Cooperative Bank on a long-term track for success. You can visit any of the Bank’s eight branches in Reading, Wilmington (2), North Reading, Woburn, Andover, Burlington and at Reading Memorial High School (available to RMHS students only). You may also visit online at 

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