Downtown Apartment Building Owner Seeks to Add More Units

Viewpoint entrance at 170 Washington St.

The owner of the former Bixby Box Toe building in County Bridge Square is seeking to add more units to the 120-unit apartment building.

Haverhill City Councilors Tuesday will schedule a public hearing on Boston Andes Capital's request to modify a special permit originally granted in 1987. The company owns the Viewpoint at Bixby Crossing, 170 Washington St.

Plans for a “partial renovation” to ground and first floor levels would “enclose a ground floor open parking structure and provide habitable space,” including three new ground floor studio units and another four on the first floor, renovating two existing units, according to documents from architecture and planning firm Cube 3 Studio LLC, Lawrence. The plan would also add a one-bedroom unit and remove a sole three-bedroom unit from the existing 120-unit, 12 story structure. The number of two-bedroom units would remain at 38. Also, the building’s main entrance would be shifted from Washington Street to the east side with a new pedestrian pathway leading to the riverfront.

“The owners are confident that the rehabilitation of the Bixby building will provide additional reasonable housing for those who want to live within the center of the city, offer more dramatic views of the Merrimack River and provide a potential access point for the city’s future development of the Riverwalk,” said Cube 3 Studio Project Manager Melisa Millman.

Other renovation work would bring exterior facade improvements, including a river-facing exterior deck to “improve river front elevation and make better use of the Merrimack River views.” An existing 151-space parking garage adjacent to the building would also be restriped to add two new spaces on the fifth level in order to meet a required 1.2 spaces per unit. A public hearing will be scheduled Dec. 1, according to council documents.

“We have reviewed the preliminary design intent drawings with multiple (town) departments, including William Pillsbury Jr., director of Economic Development and Planning,” Millman said.

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