Archdiocese and Lupoli Among Five Developers Vying to Redevelop Prime Downtown Haverhill Land

Part of the Merrimack Street redevelopment parcel. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Developer Salvatore N. Lupoli confirms plans for a restaurant along the downtown riverfront boardwalk during the governor’s visit in 2016. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Two familiar names connected with downtown Haverhill redevelopment are in competition with each other and three other companies to replace a Merrimack Street parking garage and add a mixture of residential and commercial development.

At WHAV’s request, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini named the five companies in a statement Wednesday. They include a joint effort of Jefferson Apartment Group and the Boston Archdiocese’s Planning Office Urban Affairs—the latter being one of the developers of Harbor Place across the street; Lupoli Companies, which built the Haverhill “Heights” project and owns several other downtown parcels; Dakota Partners of Waltham; Panifex of Boston; and Trinity Financial of Boston.

The mayor’s office did not release the amount each company proposes to pay the city for the up to  4.5 acres of city-owned land or the details of their proposals. However, an overview notes “All the proposals are for a mixed-use development, with emphasis on commercial, retail and professional offices, and varying numbers of residential units. The proposals range from three to four new buildings, with between 16 and 28 new stores and offices. Each developer proposes to replace the existing parking deck with a new parking structure with between 414 and 570 parking spaces.”

In addition, the statement said, there are options for public parks, plazas, gardens, art exhibition areas and similar outdoor amenities.

“To have five big, experienced companies interested and competing to develop this site is great news and more evidence of just how far our downtown has come and how optimistic everyone is about our present and future,” Fiorentini said in the statement.

WHAV reported first last September the city planned to solicit proposals to replace the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck and develop surrounding parcels that have been vacant since the 1970s urban renewal project. WHAV also reported earlier this week the receipt of five proposals and the mayor’s naming of a committee to review them.

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