Southwick Pays Double for Property; Taxes Remain Static

Southwick, the manufacturer of Brooks Brothers suits and other clothing, has formally taken possession of the former Lowe’s Home Center off route 97, paying $13.6 million for the property.

Southern Essex Registry of Deeds John L. O’Brien Jr. called Wednesday’s purchase of the commercial real estate off Broadway a “significant sale,” netting the state $62,016 in excise tax. While the land has changed hands several times over the past three decades, the sale amount is the highest recorded for the property. However, local property taxes won’t be rising in proportion.

Golden Fleece Manufacturing Group, of New York City, purchased the 25 Computer Drive property from PIP2 Computer Drive, Boston. That company had purchased the property from Lowe’s Home Centers during September, 2014, for $5.75 million, according to deeds recorded and released to WHAV Wednesday. Southwick Clothing agreed to pay property taxes on the lower $5.75 million purchase price during the fall of 2014. City Assessor Stephen C. Gullo confirmed this morning taxes are locked in at the lower level, subject to certain “incremental improvements” to the property. He said he did not know what the additional “fit up” costs were for the conversion from a retail store to manufacturing and how that may have affected the sale price.

With the ratification of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement by the Haverhill City Council, the property will be taxed at this artificially low level. Mayor James J. Fiorentini signed the TIF agreement with Southwick which spreads out property assessment increases in exchange for jobs and other factors.

Also, as WHAV reported December, 2014, Southwick/Brooks Brothers Group Inc. of Haverhill would also benefit from $2.1 million in Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) investment tax credits.

PIP2 Computer Drive was formed by Kevin McCall, chief executive officer, and John Caldwell, president, of Paradigm Properties, a property management, leasing and investment firm.

The property became commercial when it was first purchased by the former Wang Laboratories during the 1980s, creating the industrial park during the administration of former Mayor William H. Ryan.

5 thoughts on “Southwick Pays Double for Property; Taxes Remain Static

  1. Would you rather it remain empty? With business costs so high today it could easily be a decision to shut it down. It is a delicate balancing act to promote and retain commercial businesses in town. No, there is no sure bet job for anyone but at least there are jobs instead of an empty building.

  2. What a deal Southwick cut with mayor Failurentini !! The assessments on this transaction was on two parcels owned by PIP…The city assessment for one parcel is $10.3Million and the other $5.8Million. Southwick gets to pay taxes on the $5.75Million when they should be paying based on the combined tax assessments of $16.1Million.

    Tim…can you please ask the mayor how residents of Haverhill are benefiting by “any” new or existing job at Southwick.

    What a great deal Southwick made. They saw a sucker coming and took full advantage of the situation.

    • I wonder Jack how many of the employees are actually from Haverhill. Just curious because as you know, the politicos always tout giving these tax breaks in lieu of local jobs. So it also seems that their tax rate stays the same even if the property doubles in value ? How do I get that deal for my home ? Lol