Councilor Macek Says City Should Consider Replacing Downtown Parking Deck

Haverhill city councilors want planning for future added parking spaces downtown and near the Harbor Place development, including a possible replacement of the existing Herbert H. Goecke Memorial Parking Deck.

During a suspension of the rules to correct an order authorizing the mayor to transfer leases for 180 parking spaces to a second Harbor Place entity, councilors Tuesday night approved sending a letter to the mayor in support of a comprehensive parking needs review, including the Essex Street area. The motion from Councilor William J. Macek passed with five votes. Councilors Melinda Barrett, Thomas Sullivan and Michael S. McGonagle abstained as Merrimack street business owners and abutters to the Harbor Place project. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien was absent. The letter will also ask the mayor to initiate a request for proposals to redevelop the existing Merrimack Street parking deck. However, Councilor Robert H. Scatamacchia called a focus on Essex Street “a little premature in hindsight.” He said it should include the entire downtown and believed having plans to follow up in the future is good idea.

“You know, we have Bailey Boulevard which no one really uses. Let’s look into that. The city owns it. There are all kinds of things that we can do at least to try to solve the problem. But I think councilors Macek and Ryan are right, we should start right now because we’re developing things. I can remember back in the 80s when we did Washington Street, there were big plans for Merrimack Street and the economy kind of hit the skids. You know, the same thing happened a few years ago,” Scatamacchia said.

The discussion came as councilors passed a request from City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. to correct an “assignment and assumption agreement” order passed two weeks ago. It now grants the mayor authority to transfer rights to parking permits fewer than two leases for 180 spaces from one Harbor Place entity, Merrimack Street Ventures LLC, to a second, Merrimack Street Owner LLC. According to Cox, the original order omitted 80 spaces under a second parking lease. Cox described the action as “more or less a business measure on their part.”

3 thoughts on “Councilor Macek Says City Should Consider Replacing Downtown Parking Deck

  1. Traffic will be horrendous when this project is done. Add to that that the lights are so screwed up that people must wait for several cycles just to turn onto south main st,. If the city can’t manage to get that done, do you actually think they are going to be able to handle building a new parking deck ?