Haverhill’s Former Ornsteen Heel Could Form Part of Amazon Pitch

Aerial photograph of Osgood Landing, the former Merrimack Valley Works of Western Electric.

An aerial view of the former Western Electric plant in North Andover.

Haverhill’s former Ornsteen Heel factory could be part of Haverhill’s contribution to a regional pitch to attract online giant Amazon to the Merrimack Valley.

As WHAV first reported last week, area officials confirmed Wednesday the former Western Electric plant in North Andover will be the centerpiece of a regional proposal to attract the retailer to the Valley. Following a meeting of officials Wednesday, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the abandoned shoe manufacturing site in Bradford also fits.

“If we were to get this and there would be a buildout, Haverhill would be great for some of the ancillary sites. Places, for example, like Ornsteen. The Ornsteen site over next to the river. Ornsteen site runs between the river and the train station so there’d be a very easy commute back and forth between the main headquarters and Amazon,” he said.

Ozzy Properties, owner of the sprawling North Andover property received word a week ago that the site could be the hub of Amazon’s second national headquarters. In a statement, owner Orit Goldstein confirmed the company’s interest.

“It has always been our desire to see this landmark property return to the world-class campus it was designed to be,” she said. “We look forward to supporting the coalition of Merrimack Valley cities and towns being spearheaded by North Andover town leadership to pursue this truly unique opportunity.”

The property meets Amazon’s “core preferences,” North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor and other officials said in a statement. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who said he suggested the regional pitch, explained why the former Western Electric site is ideal.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for the whole region. I think this is a great site at Osgood Landing. It meets, or can meet with some modification, all of the aspects of the Amazon RFP that went out. It has the acreage. It has the rail site and we’d have to put a stop there at Osgood Landing which, I’m sure, could be done. It’s close to Boston. It’s close to both the Lawrence Airport for executive flights and also to Logan and Manchester airports,” the mayor said.

Besides North Andover and Haverhill, regional partners include Lawrence, Haverhill and Andover. The coalition is being led by the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. Commission Executive Director Karen Sawyer Conard said the area brings other advantages to Amazon.

“The diversity of people and workers, a proven commitment to quality education, exceptional recreational and entertainment opportunities, and quick access to natural resources ranging from the ocean and lakes to mountains and rustic countryside, are all here.” She said. “ So this is more than just having the right site, we have the right environment.”

Amazon proposals are due by Oct. 19.

6 thoughts on “Haverhill’s Former Ornsteen Heel Could Form Part of Amazon Pitch

  1. This would be a fabulous opportunity for the city and the people who live and work here!…But seriously folks, look at the other offers out there…North Andover is offering the former Lucent building, Boston is offering a new building to be built on the Suffix Downs property, Wilmington is offering a new building….All of these with a big tax incentive for Amazon to make it’s home there…What makes you think that Amazon is going to even consider a dilapidated building in a crime riddled city like Haverhill, and especially if I know the way this city operates..not offer Amazon a tax deal?….I mean really???

  2. If this is truly the opportunity it appears to be which can benefit literally thousands of people, careful thought needs to be given to literally every aspect of “selling” this site. Professional sales people who manage these kinds of deals for major corporations are the most charming, intelligent, polished, and likeable people going. What they aren’t is sleazy, unlikeable, ambulance chasing lawyers turned incompetent hack liberal mayors who wear suits two sizes too big and have spaghetti sauce stains on their ties. The group selling this opportunity has to understand that having mayor taxman involved in this process “in any way” is going to have a huge negative impact. The very fact of having him involved as a spokesperson in any way whatsoever will detract away all the other benefits this site offers. God forbid Amazon was to research the guy’s history and the long list of failures attached to it, the deal would be dead instantly. It will also show that the people in the area who elected the liberal hack aren’t very smart. The team of people making the decision about this for Amazon are going to be the cream of the crop professionally. The last thing they want is to be dealing with people with a long history of failure in literally everything they’ve done.
    Keep Foirentini as far away from these people as possible!!