Harbor Place Officially Dedicated at Ceremony Attended by Mayor, Cardinal O’Malley

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley visited with Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini on Monday, Oct. 30.

Downtown Haverhill’s Harbor Place was officially dedicated Monday at a ceremony attended by Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and Secretary Jay Ash of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

"Harbor Place is a wonderful example of the church partnering with local, state and non profit communities to offer families safe and affordable housing,” said Cardinal O’Malley.

The five-story commercial building, which includes mixed-income housing, a satellite campus of UMass Lowell and space for retail shops and restaurants, makes use of the former Woolworth space, which stood vacant for 45 years. Its development was made possible by a partnership between the Planning office for Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese and the Greater Haverhill Foundation.

Lisa Alberghini, President of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, applauded the efforts of former state representative Brian S. Dempsey, who was instrumental in garnering funds and political backing for the project.

“What we have accomplished together is remarkable, and it has already triggered further investment in the downtown for the benefit of all who live and work there,” she said in a statement before Monday’s ceremony. “I join with Cardinal Seán in thanking the Baker-Polito Administration, the City of Haverhill, and former Representative Brian Dempsey for their extraordinary support."

In December, the city renamed the Harbor Place boardwalk in honor of Dempsey, who helped secure $36 million in funding for the project. Once the second-most powerful lawmaker in Massachusetts as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dempsey announced his resignation as Third Essex state representative in July.