Fiorentini Previews State of the City Address, Plans to Introduce ‘Haverhill of the Future’

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.)

Move over Somerville and Cambridge: Haverhill is where it’s happening, says Mayor James J. Fiorentini. On WHAV’s Open Mic Show Monday night, Haverhill’s top chief hinted at what to expect during tonight’s State of the City address. First up: What he calls the “Haverhill of the future.”

As Fiorentini told WHAV’s Bill Macek and Ralph Basiliere Monday, the shoe city has a chance to stand out from other cities that have priced out both residents and businesses.

“I’m going to talk about the ‘Haverhill of the future’ and say that this is our chance. People are being priced out of Cambridge, Salem, Boston, Somerville—and businesses are too, because of the high cost of land,” Fiorentini said. “This is our chance to attract new businesses and new residents to our city.”

Also on Tuesday, Fiorentini plans to discuss the second phase of the so-called Haverhill renaissance. While downtown business is ramping up with the construction of Salvatore N. Lupoli’s Haverhill Heights complex and other renovation projects, Fiorentini vows to focus the next round of expansion to the outskirts of the city.

“Downtown is pretty much built out and now we need phase two: This is our chance to move Haverhill forward,” he said. “Housing brings business. Years and years ago, business brought people and now it’s the other way around.”

During his address from City Hall Tuesday, Fiorentini also intends to discuss Haverhill’s crime rate—which he says is down for the fifth year in a row—and outline plans to boost homeownership. 97.9 WHAV FM broadcasts Fiorentini’s State of the City address live starting at 7 p.m. from the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers.

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