Report: Woolworth’s Demolition Takes Place Saturday

View of downtown demolition from the Roma Restaurant, 29 Middlesex St., Bradford.

Demolition of several blocks of downtown Haverhill buildings is well underway.

Workers have demolished the former optometry office of Dr. Frederic Rose and made substantial progress removing the former Ocasio’s True Martial Arts building. Sources say the former Woolworth’s Department Store comes down Saturday.

“…after 45 years of a vacant Woolworth building on one of Haverhill’s premier corners along with adjacent disinvested buildings, redevelopment of Haverhill’s new Downtown Waterfront District is finally under way,” said Ronald Trombley, manager, Greater Haverhill Foundation. In an email to WHAV, Trombley said demolition brings back a view of the Merrimack River that has been blocked for more than 100 years.

“As the last navigable stop on the Merrimack with ready boat access to the Atlantic, Haverhill’s extensive water frontage on both the Haverhill and Bradford sides of the River present and incredible waterfront-oriented development opportunities to developers.  With Harbor Place transforming the disinvested east end of Merrimack Street into the premier mix use water front development on the Merrimack river, we believe it will serve to catalyze significant additional river front development in Haverhill.”

A White’s Corner building is proposed to house UMass Lowell, Pentucket Bank offices, retail or restaurant space, 148 spaces of underground parking, a public plaza, outdoor dining areas and a 475-foot publicly accessible boardwalk. A second building will contain 80 units of housing.

Together, the two “mixed-use multi-story buildings” total 195,000 square feet, according to documents recorded with the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds.

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.

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