State Invites City of Haverhill to Apply for ‘Opportunity Zone’ Designation

Mayor James J. Fiorentini outlines his master plan for Haverhill during his 2018 inauguration ceremony. Councilor Melinda E. Barrett is at left while Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is at right. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Mayor James J. Fiorentini outlined his new Master Plan in January. (WHAV News photograph)

Haverhill is on the rise—just ask the Baker-Polito Administration. The state office Friday announced that our city is one of 110 municipalities across the Commonwealth eligible to be federally declared an “opportunity zone.”

Should Haverhill choose to apply for and receive the designation, the city could see a boost in local business, housing and commercial construction as the result of tax incentives.

“Our administration is committed to helping cities and towns in Massachusetts unlock opportunities for private investments and economic growth,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “This program will allow municipalities across the Commonwealth to work collaboratively with investors to pursue developments that address their individual community needs.”

Mayor James J. Fiorentini has already outlined his plan for Haverhill’s long-term success with the unveiling of a new Master Plan. Earlier this year, Fiorentini told constituents he will not let Haverhill lag behind other cities in the Commonwealth when it comes to housing, economic growth, public safety and education.

“This Haverhill Renaissance didn’t happen by accident. It happened because we used zoning and state incentives to build a better future,” Fiorentini said in his January inaugural address.

With the introduction of Harbor Place’s UMass Lowell campus and the upcoming Lupoli Companies’ Haverhill Heights complex, Haverhill is posed to enter its “second Renaissance,” the mayor said.

Other Merrimack Valley cities eligible for the designation include Methuen, Lawrence and Lowell.

Locations chosen for the Opportunity Zone designation will be announced in April.