Historic Board Expresses Concern Over Downtown Haverhill Cannabis Storefront

Fishbrook Design Studio Director of Design, Kristin R. Naumann, presents design plans for marijuana dispensary store Stem to Washington Street Historic District Commission board members, left to right, Angelo Petrozzelli, Michael Valvo, and Community Development Division Director, Andrew K. Herlihy. (Dave Morrison photograph for WHAV News.)

A vote on the storefront design for a Haverhill marijuana store was delayed this past Friday.

Members of the Washington Street Historic District Commission expressed concerns about the rendering of the future cannabis shop, Stem. The long-vacant storefront at 124 Washington St. will soon be home to what Stem owner Caroline Pineau describes as a “chic and sophisticated” retail dispensary.

But before Pineau’s plans can move forward, members of the Historic District requested that designers make changes to the storefront’s design. The building is subject to additional architectural scrutiny because it is part of the Washington Street Historic District. All of the buildings in the area replaced those that burned during the Great Fire of 1882.

Representatives from Haverhill based architectural firm Fishbrook Design Studio presented to the board renderings of what the store will look like. Kristin Naumann, director of design for Fishbrook, said that they will be removing the existing awning while reconstructing the storefront to glass panels.

“We’re not putting up awnings. We’re not putting a lot of fancy signage on it. The bays are moderated per setting in the building,” Naumann said.

But despite enthusiasm from board member Michael Valvo, fellow board member Angelo Petrozzelli expressed concerns about the proposed glass door.

“I’d like to recommend the door be more consistent (with the historic district). The consistency of the historic district should be the essence,” Petrozzelli said at the meeting.

A motion to delay the vote on Pineau’s storefront until March 22 was unanimously approved by the board.

The store plans on selling edibles and other cannabis items to adults 21 and older. Part of Pineaus’s agreement with the city includes a traffic study that aims to address neighborhood concerns.

Pineau previously told WHAV that she plans to offer appointments and a shuttle service from Stem to the Herbert H. Goecke Parking Deck on Merrimack Street Pending approval from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, Pineau hopes to open in July.


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