Mayor Says 250 New ‘High-Paying’ Jobs Coming to Former Brooks Brothers Plant in Haverhill

Former Brooks Brothers manufacturing plant in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill will soon see 250 new job openings as a yet undisclosed company opens in the recently closed Southwick building.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini teased the news during 97.9 WHAV’s simulcast of Frank Novak’s “Point of Reference” program Wednesday night. The mayor said although he knows the identity of the new occupant, he has been asked not to reveal the name until the purchaser does.

“There is a buyer and we’re going to be announcing it in the next couple of days. I was sworn to secrecy. Don’t announce it. It’s going to be good. There’s going to be about 250 jobs going in there. Not as many as we lost with Southwick but good high-paying jobs and it’s going to be very, very good for our community. I’m very excited about it.”

Boston-based Eastern Real Estate closed on the property last month. Southwick, one-time manufacturer of Brooks Brothers suits, employed 413 people at its Computer Drive location. The company closed the Haverhill site as well as other plants across the county back in May and later filed for bankruptcy protection.

Haverhill filed a claim in bankruptcy court in Delaware to claw back” local property tax benefits it gave Southwick to expand in the city. In a letter to Southwick’s May Tan, state Economic Development Incentive Program Director Annamarie Kersten first disclosed the city’s rights to receive repayment of property tax relief.

State Rep. Andy X Vargas had also told WHAV that state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Michael Kennealy’s office sent Southwick Clothing a “Notice of Decertification” because the company did not meet its “job creation and job retention commitments.” He said state tax credits alone total $2.1 million.

Authentic Brands Group and shopping mall operator Simon Property Group bid $325 million to continue operating at least 125 Brooks Brothers retail locations and preserve the iconic Brooks Brothers brand. The sale did not include the Southwick plant in Haverhill.

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