HCTV Pays $1 Million for Harbor Place Condo

Haverhill Community Television’s planned satellite studio in the new Harbor Place development downtown will cost almost $1 million, according HCTV Director Stanley W. Colten.

The revelation was made Tuesday afternoon after Colten learned from WHAV he will continue to serve on the public access television group’s board until 2017.

“They paid a million dollars for the condo at Harbor Place. They paid for it outright,” Colten said. The actual price is $973,000 plus $1,720 a month in condo fees, he elaborated. Colten expressed concern about the deal since the group will continue to maintain its full studio on Elm Street. He said this is the kind of spending that worries him especially since the station needs money to address picture and sound quality problems.

The $68 million Harbor Place replaces the vacant Woolworth’s Department store and other buildings. In July, officials announced the space was 80 percent leased with UMass—Lowell taking two floors, Pentucket Bank taking a floor for its executive offices and HCTV taking a small portion of the first floor for a satellite recording studio.

The developer is a consortium comprised of the Boston Archdiocese’s Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Greater Haverhill Foundation and Boston attorney Frank Giso III. The development group previously purchased Herman Ocasio’s True Martial Arts building, 42-50 Merrimack St.; Newman’s Discount Furniture and Mattresses, 28-40 Merrimack St.; the former Woolworth Building, 2 Merrimack St.; Emerson Floor Covering building, 20-22 Merrimack St.; and the optometry offices of Dr. Frederic Rose, 72 Merrimack St.

Colten said Attorney Michael J. Hart represented HCTV during the transaction. “I’ll serve them truthfully, honestly and I’m, still going to get the answers to the questions,” Colten said after Hart said Colten’s term had not expired, but rather he was elected to a three-year term last February.

“There’s no way they can survive unless they get some other income,” Colten added. He explained the group, which operates Comcast channel 22, still must pay to equip the studio. Colten also said he is worried future fees paid by Comcast subscribers will drop.

“Comcast money will be cut by half. Comcast is losing their business left and right.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini alluded to HCTV's spending in a prepared statement delivered by David Van Dam, chief of staff.

“As we move forward, I urge Haverhill Community Television to make changes to their bylaws, to commit to having public representation. Over a 10-year contract period, HCTV will receive $8 million from Haverhill ratepayers. We want to make sure there’s public oversight, and that they spend their money wisely.” the statement read.

3 thoughts on “HCTV Pays $1 Million for Harbor Place Condo

  1. WOW ! They paid CASH for that condo ? Seems like some folks are getting way too much of the cable ratepayers money huh ? So, how did this come about, considering this is a non-profit supported in the great part from cable subscriptions money. I now wonder how the agreement and negotiations went down. What was said or possibly inferred that would allow the people controlling the HCTV non-profit to assume this money would keep coming year after year.

    Besides the contract, could it maybe be that no other competition would be allowed into this market ? Seems like Verizon was interested in coming into the city at one point but that deal seemed to have gone south. I wonder why that happened and I wonder why such a small entity like HCTV needs a $1 million condo on top of what they already have ? Smells awfully like the PBS studio fiasco in Boston. Sadly, Haverhill residents will not be the beneficiary of any tax revenue, or will it ? I suggest the Mayor propose a P.I.L.O.T. program. Payment in lieu of taxes. This is getting out of hand.

    • Someone has some explaining to do and is getting a bit too big for his/her britches. For an organization feeding at the public trough and depending on cable subscribers for its very existence, the purchase of a $1,000,000 condo seems to be a bit rich. Why is an expensive condominium needed???? If there is that much excess money, HCTV should reconsider its budget and come forward with a fat rebate check for the City of Haverhill. —- This wild spending just begs for a review of the entire HCTV budget from Cash to Assets to Salaries and beyond.

    • I can see why they have the one million. it is non-profit, so the money goes back into the business …but the rest of your comment, I agree. I think the cable companies should be watched under some sort of government agency if not already. The “200” channels they offer we probably watch eight all together. Its a rip off. I was unable to purchase basic / extended basic only. They told me I had to purchase digital preferred stations as well if I wanted extended basic. I only wanted basic,since I chose to buy ROKU to stream tv so I can watch what I want, when I want. But basic was too expensive.So I was forced to buy a 3 tier plan and I do not watch cable at all.