Haverhill’s Downtown, Mt. Washington Neighborhoods Named ‘Opportunity Zones’

Haverhill's downtown and Mt. Washington neighborhoods have been named federal "Opportunity Zones," the city said Friday. (Courtesy photographs)

Haverhill’s downtown district and nearby Mt. Washington neighborhood have been federally designated as “Opportunity Zones,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini and state Rep. Andy Vargas said Friday.

“Haverhill has attracted significant investment over the years, which has transformed our community for the better,” Fiorentini said. “This designation will help position us for continued investment and expanded opportunities for businesses and residents.

The announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Charlie Baker including the city on a list of 138 Massachusetts cities and towns eligible for tax incentives and other economic benefits. His list is now with the U.S. Treasury for formal approval.

Haverhill's Washington Street. (Courtesy photo)

Haverhill applied for the designation earlier this year, when the Baker-Polito administration said the city could see a boost in local business, housing and commercial construction.

Vargas is hopeful the designation will further put Haverhill on the map.

“So many of our communities across the state and country are not given the same opportunities for growth as bigger cities, though they often possess the same potential,” Vargas said. “(This designation) means Haverhill can strengthen public-private sector relationships and re-invest in our local economy, which sends a message that we’re ready to create economic opportunity in Haverhill.”

Lowell and Lawrence were among the other Merrimack Valley locations submitted for federal approval. Nearly half of the locations are, like Haverhill, considered Gateway Cities.