Lawyer Seeks OK to Revive Proposal for Housing in Old St. James School

Former St. James Grammar School (St. Gregory School) at 108 Harrison St., Haverhill.

The former St. Gregory/St. James School at 108 Harrison St. in Haverhill has a second chance for a new lease on life.
Chelsea attorney Anthony Rossi Jr. hopes to renovate the old brick schoolhouse into 17 apartments.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

A request for a 25-unit development spread over two buildings failed to win City Council’s approval for a special permit in November 2017 when a Lowell-based housing agency presented its plan.
The Planning Board has issued a conditional approval recommendation to the City Council, which meets beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
In November, neighbors protested the plan to put 25 units on the Harrison Street lot, especially since it meant constructing a second building, which reduced room for parking on the property.
The densely developed neighborhood, bordered by Primrose, Lancaster, Lewis and Winter streets, is difficult to navigate in winter because most residents lack off-street parking. Residents pleaded with the council to withhold a special permit saying the development would have a severe negative impact on their quality of life.
In documents submitted to the council and Planning Board, Rossi said he will restore the brick school building, landscape the lot and provide more parking than required.
The mayor’s request to the council to declare 20 Newcomb St. surplus and open it to proposals for redevelopment has made it back to the board’s agenda for the third time. Perhaps it’s a charm?