Developer Proposes New Lafayette Square Building with Two Commercial Units and Housing

Rendering of proposed building on vacant lot at 42-48 Lafayette Square, Haverhill.

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week.

A developer, who has undertaken several high-profile projects in Haverhill, is asking the City Council to grant a special permit to construct a new building in Lafayette Square with both commercial and residential space.

Atlantis Investments, led by Manager Jonathan Cody, seeks to build a three-story building at 42 Lafayette Square which would house commercial space on the first floor and 14 residential units above. The lot was once occupied by a building which was destroyed by fire more than 20 years ago.

Cody recently redeveloped a former city-owned house behind City Hall into 13 studio apartments and won approval to convert the former St. Joseph’s School, off Lafayette Square, into 36 apartments. He also owns the former Haverhill Bank building in the square.

“The property is vacant and has been vacant for approximately 23 years. Approving this petition will allow for the development of the land to a similar use prior to said fire. Allowing for development will remove it from vacant land and increase the city’s tax revenue,” attorney Russell S. Channen wrote in a letter to councilors.

Cody said he is providing 28 parking space—seven for commercial use and 21 for residents—on the site and an additional parcel he owns.

Last month, the Haverhill Planning Board recommended the City Council approve the special permit request.

In a memorandum to the City Council, Economic and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. said there were no objections from city department heads and the proposed project is “consistent with housing stock in the surrounding neighborhood and represents the opportunity to have infill housing that will serve to bring additional stability to the area by improving conditions and property values.”

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St. As a public service, 97.9 WHAV will carry the meeting live.

In other public meetings this week:

Tuesday, Oct. 20

Haverhill Board of Assessors meets to discuss excise tax abatements and other topics, Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 9-10 a.m., in the Assessor’s office, room 115, Haverhill City Hall.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Haverhill Board of Appeals will hear plans by Fantini Bakery for a 100-foot by 115-foot addition for a new oven at 375 Washington St. Members are also scheduled to hear a proposal by Timothy Woodland to convert a mixed-use building at 149 Washington St. into a five-unit residential building. The Board meets Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St.

Thursday, Oct. 22

Haverhill School Committee Finance Subcommittee meets virtually Thursday, Oct. 22, at noon, to continue discussing the current school budget and allocations.

Haverhill Conservation Commission determines if wetlands regulations apply to the redevelopment of the former Ornsteen property on Railroad Avenue. Procopio Companies plans to build a 290-unit apartment complex, overlooking the Merrimack River. Commissioners meet virtually, Thursday, Oct. 15, 7:15 p.m.

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