Public Asked to Share Vision of Haverhill’s Downtown Next Week

MassDevelopment Transformative Development Fellow Noah Koretz.

The first of several interactive meetings, also known as a “public charrette and visioning session” for an urban design study in the eastern half of downtown Haverhill, will be held by city officials in partnership with a state economic development and finance agency serving gateway cities.

MassDevelopment has also engaged, on behalf of the city, Utile Architecture and Planning of Boston to participate in the public brainstorming meeting for the Merrimack Street Transformative Development District, according to MassDevelopment Transformative Development Fellow Noah Koretz. It takes place from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 90 Washington St., first floor.

“This will be the first of several interactive meetings designed to engage with the public to present our process and gather ideas from the public,” Koretz told WHAV. “We will (be) walking the district and meeting in small groups to brainstorm about a variety of different ideas, including main street activation, open space, mix of uses, transportation, and river connectivity.”

MassDevelopment “works with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state, and federal officials and agencies to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth, according to a statement on its website. “Through these collaborations we help create jobs, increase the number of housing units, revitalize urban environments, and address factors limiting economic growth including transportation, energy, and infrastructure deficiencies.”

“Engage with fellow stakeholders and help to re-envision the urban design strategy for the eastern half of downtown Haverhill,” a spokesperson said in a promotional flyer.

Last April, Koretz was among three Transformative Development Intiative (TDI) Fellows hired by MassDevelopment to work in the gateway cities of Haverhill, Lynn and Springfield, which the agency selected last December as “pilot TDI Districts in Development.” They joined with gateway cities of Brockton, Holyoke, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Revere, and Worcester.

“As mayor of the City of Haverhill, I am thankful to MassDevelopment for this assistance and continued support for our activities. I am committed to furthering the transformative efforts underway in our downtown,” said Mayor James J. Fiorentini. “We are excited to have Noah Koretz join with our partnership and help us to accomplish our goals in downtown Haverhill.”

Koretz previously served as the director of the North Suburban Consortium at the Malden Redevelopment Authority, where he managed federal HOME-funded affordable housing investment in eight communities, including several Gateway Cities. He formerly practiced commercial and real estate law in Boston, and is a graduate of Cornell University with a law degree from The George Washington University and a master's degree in city planning from MIT.

“In Haverhill, he will help to revitalize the City's Merrimack Street Transformative District, which connects two ends of a vibrant downtown and which the City is developing as an attractive, safe and diverse place to work, live, study, recreate, dine, and shop,” a spokesperson said.

During FY2014, MassDevelopment financed or managed 314 projects generating investment of more than $2.9 billion in the Massachusetts economy. “These projects are projected to create more than 6,300 jobs and build or rehabilitate more than 1,600 residential units,” according to a spokesperson.

7 thoughts on “Public Asked to Share Vision of Haverhill’s Downtown Next Week

  1. Everything Jack states above is 100% absolute fact – I simply couldn’t agree more.

    Haverhill citizens will have ZERO to say in the end – whatever this crooked mayor and Dempsey want is what will happen – to attend even ONE of these meetings is a waste of time for the citizenry.

  2. Mr. Koretz….
    Rule Number One when dealing with Havehill’s failing mayor: Take EVERYTHING he tells you as a lie!!! It would be in your best interest to verify everything he tells you from people working ‘outside’ of city government.

    The mayor looks at downtown not as a place people can live, start/run a business and visit…he sees the entire downtown as a source of revenue.

    Parking taxes weren’t enough for him. Once established, because the weak city council refuses to fight to repeal them, he sees it as a source to go back for more. He’s pushing to increase parking tax rates by over 50% !!! And just having a tax on parking is not enough….so what did he do? He invested in a vehicle and hired employees to drive around downtown to ticket cars. Yet not one city councilor brings this up!!! The number of parking tickets are at an all time high because of mandated ticket writing quotas and the state is looking to invest to improve the quality of life downtown? Is this a joke?

    Mr. Koretz, how about helping citizens of Haverhill get out from having to pay a fee to park in a State funded parking garage that we already paid for? Why should taxpayers have to pay a fee for something we already funded? Was the State’s intention to build the garage so the tax and spend mayor could have yet another revenue source to charge people for? Well that’s exactly what is happening.

    And now we learn that the mayor’s thirst for power and need to generate revenue from downtown has led to his using public funds to take personal property which he will then sell at a profit to his private developers. He’s doing it without even contacting the property owners, which I’d like to say is beyond belief, but it’s not coming from this incompetent hack.

    When you have your meetings Mr. Koretz don’t expect much in the way of people telling you the truth about what is happening downtown, especially from private business owners. Any time someone dares speaks out against the mayor he seeks revenge via Nazi style tactics to make sure running their businesses becomes very difficult.