Developer of Former Haverhill TV and Appliance Building Receives $2M State Financing

Architect’s rendering of proposed renovation of the former Haverhill TV and Appliance building.

The iconic Magnavox sign comes down. (Peter Carbone photograph for WHAV News.)

Plans to create two storefronts and nine apartments at the former Haverhill TV and Appliance building in downtown Haverhill recently received a boost with a $2 million loan from MassDevelopment.

West Newbury developer Theodore P. Ammon plans to convert the top three floors of the building into nine residential apartments while maintaining two commercial units on the ground floor. Haverhill city councilors granted the project at 27 Washington St. a special permit last March. The iconic, vertical, Magnavox sign at the store came down in October 2019. The business was operated by the Battistini family for much of the past century.

“I am beyond excited to play a part in Haverhill’s growth,” said Ammon. “The city has been undergoing a lot of change over the past decade, and I was looking for a way to play a role in that. I had been searching for the right opportunity for years, and finally found it here with this project. Washington Street is full of great restaurants and retail—the energy here is amazing. I look forward to seeing the downtown continue to thrive.”

The apartments include six two-bedrooms and three one-bedroom units.

Nearly all buildings along Washington and Wingate Streets comprise the Washington Street Historic District, which commemorates the reconstruction of the city’s she district following the great fire of 1882.

“This project will preserve the former Magnavox building’s status as a treasured landmark while creating new housing and retail space on downtown Haverhill’s main thoroughfare,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment provided loan financing for similar redevelopment efforts at 37 Washington St. and 81-87 Washington St., and we’re proud to see how this type of project not only breathes life into an underutilized building, but also creates small business opportunities, provides foot traffic, and adds vibrancy to the city.”

In 2018, MassDevelopment provided $5.6 million in loans to help Traggorth Companies buy and redevelop a long-vacant historic building at 81-87 Washington St. into The Granville, featuring approximately 3,135 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 24 upper-floor market-rate apartments. In 2014, MassDevelopment provided a $90,000 predevelopment loan to help Traggorth redevelop 37 Washington St. into JM Lofts, featuring ground-floor businesses and 18 upper-floor market-rate apartments. All three projects were a focus of MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative), a program designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts in Gateway Cities.

MassDevelopment is the state’s finance and development agency.

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