City Considers 62 More Housing Units on Essex St.

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Plans to rehabilitate an eight-story Essex Street mill building for a housing development within the “Downtown Smart Growth Overlay District” go before the Haverhill city council Tuesday night.

A public hearing is scheduled for a permit request by Affordable Housing and Services Collaborative Inc., Braintree. It has proposed a Chapter 40-R residential development of a total 62 affordable, mixed income and mixed use units at the Chen building, 98-112 Essex St. From that number, 55 units would be classified as affordable units. The plan also calls for ground-level commercial space.

The housing development proposal is supported by Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury. “This is one of the last remaining structures in the area that have not been renovated and has been a major challenge to bring this project to this stage. We have worked closely with the applicant who has demonstrated a strong commitment to putting together an excellent project given the physical constraints of the structure and the site,” Pillsbury said.

According to council documents, Sean Chen, Manager, Lotus Realty LLC, Quincy, has agreed to sell the building and 49 parking spaces to AHSC, including 15 assigned from the MVRTA parking garage, 29 from a lot on Locust Street and five spaces with easement off Granite Street. Site plans from AHSC would provide another 15 on-site parking spaces for a total 64 spaces. Pillsbury also said the plans have no objections from city departments.

“This project is very similar to the Forest City (Hamel Mills Lofts) and the Hayes building projects previously approved by this council and successfully developed. This project will serve to remove a major remaining blighting influence from the downtown,” Pillsbury said.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

3 thoughts on “City Considers 62 More Housing Units on Essex St.

  1. Did anyone have any question as to the rubber stamp seal of approval of this project? The Fish Family own Beacon Hill and every political subsidiary thereof. They spent tens-of-thousands to make sure their cash cow, 40B reform, would never see the light of day.

    Should work out great for city residents in a city that is already ridiculously poor. Stuffing as many poor humans as possible, in a small area, should do wonders for the already strained city services and schools. This will be the third 40B development to go up (ex-Friends Landing & Harbor Place) in the city on top of the already massive amounts of 40B the city currently houses.

    The Fish’s will be happy though, a permanent injection to their legacy trust fund for their family, and for as long as there’s taxpayers, a fund that can never go broke.

  2. Parking is extremely tight in that area now. Seems like too many units to me. How many bedrooms/units? Mostly two bedroom or one bedroom? How many students will this add?