Boardwalk, from Basiliere to Comeau Bridges, Named for Dempsey

State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey joins local officials in September to cut the ribbon opening the Harbor Place boardwalk to the public. Three months later, the boardwalk now bears his name.

A riverfront boardwalk along the entire length of Merrimack Street – even parts that may not exist yet – will be named for state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini announced and the Haverhill City Council unanimously supported an order to name “the full length of the boardwalk on the northerly side of the Merrimack River, currently existing or contemplated in the future, between the Basiliere Bridge and the Comeau Bridge,” as the Rep. Brian S. Dempsey Boardwalk.

Councilor William J. Macek said Dempsey has accomplished more than what would be expected of a local representative and has brought more to the city in funding, for example, than anybody he could recall.

“Brian’s hard to even…speak of because he’s so humble. He still stays a regular person from Haverhill. He’s friendly, there’s no ego, he just wants to do the job and do it best,” Macek said. “He’s done so much more helping us pay our Hale debt annually, bringing other grants and loans to the city. I thought he deserved more.”

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua noted that funding for years had stood in the way of extending the boardwalk.  He said Dempsey, as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, made the effort to convey to the governor and other state leaders the mayor’s vision of why the boardwalk was important to the city.

“It wasn’t just a walkway along the water, but it was a walkway into economic development. It was a walkway into jobs, a walkway into tax revenue, it was a walkway to opportunity,” Bevilacqua said. “Brian Dempsey will always be Brian Dempsey from Haverhill. He is today, he always will be and all you have to do is go to a local event and you will see the Ways and Means chair there. Because he’s never forgotten where he came from and that’s his power.”

A grand opening ceremony for the section of the Dempsey Boardwalk behind the Harbor Place project will take place Friday at 3 p.m., at 2 Merrimack St.

Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan said there was no one more deserving than Dempsey of the honor. He praised Dempsey, whom he has known many years and shares a  relative through marriage, as “the best thing to ever happen in the City of Haverhill” since his first run for state representative in 1990. He added, as evidence, Dempsey’s ability to bring together “a coalition of stakeholders” to make Harbor Place a reality.

“I think what is most exciting about naming the boardwalk for Brian is the realization that this is just the beginning of the transformational development of downtown Merrimack Street and the surrounding area, for which so many of us have waited so many years to see happen,” Sullivan said. “A couple of weeks ago Sal Lupoli came before us to announce his forthcoming project on the other end of Merrimack Street. And before we know it there will come others, drawn to Haverhill’s downtown and other areas of the city because of the hard work of elected officials like our very own state Rep. Brian Dempsey.”

As House Ways and Means chairman, Dempsey secured state money to help redevelop the former F.W. Woolworth store and adjacent properties as part of the Harbor Place project. Harbor Place also will include a satellite campus of University of Massachusetts Lowell and innovation hub based on the university’s model in downtown Lowell.


6 thoughts on “Boardwalk, from Basiliere to Comeau Bridges, Named for Dempsey

  1. The most amazing part of the whole saga of this building being built was the first person newspaper article Dempsey authored in the Eagle Tribune after it was confirmed the building would go up. In it, he spent quite a bit of time explaining how he had cut a deal with UMass Lowell to occupy the building, but that he and mayor taxman worked real hard not to let that news leak out. They didn’t want to let it leak out because the sale of the Newman Furniture building had not yet been finalized, and they did not want to have that news delay or affect that sale in any way.

    Here were two elected public officials knowingly and intentionally acting to materially affect the fair market value of the Newman Building. They knew that if they made public the news of the UMass lease agreement that the Newman Building would immediately be worth more. They conspired to essentially defraud a property owner by keeping secret information that should have immediately been made public. There he was bragging in a newspaper article about his efforts to intentionally screw a Haverhill property owner, as if it was no big deal. It’s absolutely disgusting!

    And there are the corrupt liberals giving out trophies as expected.

  2. Ah, Friday at 3, a perfect date for Jack and Duncan.
    But better yet those two should petition the state so that the money is returned and no further money should come to Haverhill. Send it elsewhere..

    • No, I’ll leave it for the sycophants, cognitive dissonant, and political confirmation biased.

      If you go, thank Brian for keeping Massachusetts hovering at all-time high poverty rates, number one in the country for income disparity, and helping lose a Congressional seat due to people fleeing the state, only countered since through massive immigration.

      Maybe also ask Brian why local and area workers/contractors were shut out of working on the $70 million-dollar project, only to line the pockets of one of the wealthiest construction family members in the New England? Maybe he’ll answer you more honestly than he did me when asked why graduates of UMass-Lowell (a PUBLIC school) are saddled with over $33K in college debt upon graduation? Or why they have such terrible graduation rates to begin with (just over 50%)?

      While there are roughly 20 millionaires in Haverhill (Brian could be one via campaign donations), the poor and low-income of this state and this city have only seen things worsen. That is directly linked to the decisions Brian and his crony capitalistic friends on Beacon Hill have instituted and voted for. The longer he and his Beacon Hill cronies interfere and legislate their wealth transfer to the few, the worse it continues to get for those left out. It is not my fault that those affected the worst do not understand basic or modern day economics, law, and finance, that is a duty of each American to do on their own.

      Maybe I will leave work early, bake a cake and bring it to the ceremony. This way, I could asked Brian how much more cake he would like to serve The American People, Residents of Massachusetts, and The Citizens of Haverhill. You know, kind of like The Hillary Clinton Campaign?