New Downtown Housing to be Dedicated Tuesday

Architectural drawing of renovated Marsh Block, 37-45 Washington St.

Local and state dignitaries are expected to be on hand in downtown Haverhill Tuesday to mark completion of 18 new, market-rate, housing units under a redevelopment project at the former Surplus Office Supply building, also know as the Marsh Block, 37-45 Washington St.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled at 2 p.m., Tuesday, for the new housing units known as J.M. Lofts, according to Haverhill Community Development Division Director Andrew K. Herlihy and a schedule from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay will be among those present to deliver their remarks during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the one and two bedroom, loft style, housing units within the three floors above ground-floor retail space. Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Sen. Kathleen A. O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) will also attend the ribbon-cutting.  Department heads, city councilors and other members of the local legislative delegation were also invited.

“This represents the first fully market-rate housing development in Haverhill in several years,” Herlihy told WHAV. “The residences are done and the developer is still working on the commercial units.”

The $5.8 million redevelopment project received several tax credits including, as WHAV reported last December, a $50,000 tax credit under a Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. It is administered by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, under Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, chairman. Earlier, the project also received a Tax Increment Exemption (TIE) agreement approved by the Haverhill City Council. It exempts the development from 50 percent of property taxes due in the project’s first fiscal year. The exemption will decrease by 10 percent during the subsequent four fiscal years. The base value of the property was listed at $348,000.

“The project involves the complete rehabilitation of the 20,000+ square foot building into ground floor retail and live/work space, and 18 one and two-bedroom lofts. The lofts will feature 10+ foot tall ceilings, exposed brick, large efficient windows with generous natural light, high efficiency mechanical systems, a full service elevator to each floor and well-appointed kitchens and baths,” according to the developer.

The J.M. Lofts ribbon-cutting also comes, as WHAV first reported Friday, the Haverhill License Commission granted the first of several licenses to the new Battle Grounds Coffee Co., 39 Washington St. Battle Grounds Coffee will be owned by a soon-to-be-married Haverhill couple, Dana Michelle Perry and Salvatore Defranco.