New Burger King Underway at RiversEdge Plaza; Owner Agrees to Traffic, Smog Terms

A Burger King restaurant and drive-through is set to take over the space formerly occupied by Pentucket Bank in RiversEdge Plaza. (Architect’s rendering.)

Demolition at RiversEdge Plaza. (WHAV News photograph.)

It has taken a year and a half, but work is progressing on construction of a freestanding Burger King restaurant at RiversEdge Plaza on Lincoln Avenue.

A number of concerns—from traffic to smog—had to be addressed since the $1.25 million project first entered Haverhill’s permitting process early in 2016, according to city officials. The restaurant replaces a former Pentucket Bank branch. The branch was recently demolished and construction of a new foundation is underway.

One noticeable change, said Planning and Economic Development Director William Pillsbury Jr., is reconfiguration of Burnham Street at Lincoln Avenue. He said neighbors wanted to discourage use of Burnham Street as a route to Burger King. Developer Northeast Food is paying to narrow the end of Burnham to make it less of a “boulevard,” Pillsbury explained.

Haverhill city councilors first raised questions about traffic during April 2016. “This isn’t in the plaza that was originally permitted. Now they’re creating a new front row and that’s what bothers me. The front row is going to almost be blocking the back row before they’re done. And they’re doing it as a matter of right. I really think that type of development needs an extra layer of review,” Councilor William J. Macek said at the time.

Inspectional Services Director Richard MacDonald told WHAV he also worked to avert a smoke problem previously discovered at the Plaistow Road Burger King. A scrubber was added to the Plaistow Road location and will be built into the new restaurant.

Amaral Revite, of Providence, R.I., is the contractor. The restaurant will seat 54 people and offer a drive-up window within a 2,700-square-foot building.

RiversEdge Plaza spans three property owners—RiversEdge Plaza Limited, the middle section where Burger King will be located; Market Basket supermarkets; and the bankrupt Building #19.

Completion of the restaurant is expected by the end of the summer.