Six residences are coming to a Summer Street mansion that has housed professional offices for the last 50 years.
The Haverhill Board of Appeals granted a variance last week to Wash Square Jackson Haverhill of Newburyport. The developer will restore housing at 160 Summer St., reversing a trend that dates back to the earliest days of the Pentucket Urban renewal project that saw the demolition of much of downtown.
In recent years, the building housed Christiansen and Sergi Engineers.
The clearance of virtually every commercial building between Main and Mill Streets and the Merrimack River and Summer Street forced businesses to move into neighborhoods. Water Street was once a vibrant commercial district, featuring businesses such as Sears Roebuck and Co. and Regan Ford. After entire cross streets were eliminated and Ginty Boulevard was constructed, few businesses were willing to move back into the district. To fill what was called the “dustbowl,” officials allowed a strip shopping center, housing and a nursing home in the district.