Council OKs Permit for Mill That Survived Sept. 2015 Fire

City Council approved a special permit Tuesday for an 82-unit apartment project and restaurant on the Pentucket Mills site at 14 Stevens St.

Project architect Steven Caswell said construction could start in six to nine months, depending on financing and approval by the Planning Board.

The mill building at 14 Stevens St. survived a massive fire in September 2015 when arson destroyed the former Hudson Machinery Co.

Methuen attorney Vincent Manzi, representing Winn Development, credited Haverhill firefighters with saving the Pentucket Mills building, which stood only eight to 10 feet away from the ruined structure.

“I’ve been an attorney specializing in development law for almost 42 years. This is the first time I can honestly say that I have a development that is truly ‘a phoenix rising from the ashes,’” he said.

The loss of the Hudson Machinery building created room for parking for the project, Manzi said.

The developer intends to rent 60 percent of the units at market rate, and the remaining 40 percent as workforce housing. Of the 82 apartments in the project, 69 will be one-bedroom units, Manzi said.

Caswell said at least five units will be fully handicap-accessible.

A community room, gym, laundry area and open-air courtyard are planned for the basement level of the mill building.

The project will include a 3,000-square-foot restaurant and a public parking area with an easement allowing access to a walkway along Little River.

The city will receive $450,000 in back taxes owed on the property when Winn takes ownership, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said.

Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien suggested the developers create an outdoor space for residents to take their pets, calling it a quality of life issue.

“This is the beginning of a renaissance in a part of our city that really needs it,” Daly O’Brien said.

4 thoughts on “Council OKs Permit for Mill That Survived Sept. 2015 Fire

  1. Well said Mr Chairman. ” 40% as workforce housing” ??? That is a yuuuge amount of burden to put on the city once again. The schools are busting at the seams and hemorrhaging money. That new coalition is screaming for more money but “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” folks, just keep paying more. There is a difference between just developing properties for cash and smartly developing properties for the future.

    “Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien suggested the developers create an outdoor space for residents to take their pets, calling it a quality of life issue.” Once again, another city official telling the developers how to do their business. I wonder if they will question the size of their elevators again because they know better than the architects and engineers on how to build. Hysterical really. The same thing happened during the construction of the police station and look at what happened there after they fired the person who was overseeing the project. It never ends.

  2. More renaissance?!?! Is that what this is called?!?!
    Please let me know how things are going at the harbor place.
    Maybe the restaurant that was suppose to go in there will change course and open here.
    Just think, while having dinner in Thai renaissance area you have a clear view of the gas station and if you look to your left you may see the chef catching the daily catch in the little river. Oh but wait, after dinner stroll on over to the Minit Mart for an after dinner beverage.
    Haverhill is on the move, better yet those that know better and aren’t drinking the Kool Aid should be on the move. That move would be to get out of this city now.

    • The mentality of some people is only 30 years behind the times. No worries Danny Boy, at some point, the leaders of Mayberry RFD will come around and realize it is 2017 not 1987. Too bad it won’t happen until 2027. Haverhill is in one of those time warps where it is like groundhog day and the same ole’, same ole’ keeps on keepin’ on.

  3. So 40% section 8 housing? More people with more kids crowding the schools and the payoff is 450k – which the average homeowner in Haverhill will never see as a reduction in property tax – great job Jimmy Taxes.

    Keeping Haverhill poor is his goal – more freeloaders on the government teet. Jimmy is working hard to make sure our city looks like Lawrence within 5 years.

    And why the “special’ permit? Is there some connection between these incidents of “fires” and the ability to then swoop in and get a “special permit” for section 8 housing?