Smiley School Sale Could Help Downtown Project

The former Smiley School on Main Street could be the future home of a business displaced by the downtown Harbor Place Project.

City councilors will be asked tomorrow night to approve the sale of the building and about 1.5 acres of land to the Greater Haverhill Foundation for $187,500. The Smiley School would then be available to house Angel Care Kids Therapy Center, now at 70 Merrimack St. The business is currently housed in one of two Merrimack Street buildings believed to be holding up full development.

Angel Care Kids Therapy Center was founded in 1998 to provide pediatric occupational and speech therapy. It is owned and operated by Kimberley Cook of Haverhill.

Meanwhile, an order of conditions, approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection to protect the riverfront area, was filed Friday with the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds.

The foundation is part of the consortium building the Harbor Place project. The group owns a contiguous block of downtown buildings from the former Woolworth’s department store to the former optometry offices of Dr. Frederic Rose.

In a letter to city council President John A. Michitson, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the plan is the best of several bids to purchase the school. He added the city will keep a portion of the property for a park and playground.

Built in 1914, the school was named in honor of Haverhill’s third mayor, James V. Smiley.

The downtown developer is a consortium comprised of the Boston Archdiocese’s Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Greater Haverhill Foundation and Boston attorney Frank Giso III.