The site of the former Ocasio’s True Martial Arts building, Merrimack Street. (WHAV photo.)
Many onlookers were attracted to the demolition of the former Ocasio’s True Martial Arts building Saturday and Sunday.
It and the former optometry office of Dr. Frederic Rose are the first buildings to be completely removed along Merrimack Street as construction of Harbor Place takes place. Both businesses have since relocated elsewhere downtown.
Spectators gathered largely on the second story of the Herbert H. Goecke Memorial Parking Deck. Last week, William Pillsbury, Haverhill’s planning and economic development director, said attempts would be made to remove taller portions of several buildings along the street if time permitted.
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.