Council Asks for Formal High St. Apartment Plans Before Jan.

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

While the Haverhill City Council will not meet this week at city hall, discussions are slated to continue for plans to redevelop a shuttered storefront-warehouse-apartment building on High Street.

During last week’s meeting, councilors voted to continue a public hearing on a “repetitive petition” for a special permit from 13 High Street Realty Trust. Plans revised since a previous denial call for six apartment units, down from seven, with parking for nine vehicles at a lot across the street that is owned by the realty trust. Attorney William Faraci, representing trustee Kerri Fronduto, said he has been in consultation on council concerns for housing density and storage space for residents, among others.

“I have produced a plan which has conforming parking now, rather than that piggyback parking that was in there before, and reduced it to six units. Therefore, you need nine spaces. Also, one of the plans that were presented here, originally, had six units and 17 bedrooms. That is now reduced to six units and 12 beds,” Faraci said.

According to Faraci, the owner is making a long-term commitment to the property, and asked for further council input to move the project forward.

“You then end up with a building with six units that the developer is into for at least 500 thousand, if not a little more. That means, as a realistic matter, the building can’t be flipped. This isn’t a fix-it-up and turn-it-over, because frankly, nobody is going to pay a half million dollars for property, that end of High Street,” Faraci said.

However, councilor William Macek requested the hearing be continued to January 13, as some last-minute drafts proposed by Faraci were yet to be made formal.

“I think that it’s moving in the right direction, and one of the things that I think is very important is that we do not vote on handwritten words and sketches, changes, and that we need to see an actual plan before us to vote a special permit,” Macek said.

The next regular meeting of the Haverhill City Council will be held Tuesday, Dec. 30.