The Haverhill City Council lent its support to Creative Haverhill Tuesday night as the nonprofit seeks a unique opportunity to raise money for its Cogswell ArtSpace campaign.
Program Director Erin Padilla told the Council the group is hoping to be awarded an Underutilized Property Grant from MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency. She explained how it works.
“This grant is looking to fund projects that will improve, rehabilitate or redevelop blighted, abandoned, vacant or underutilized properties to achieve the public purposes of eliminating blight, increasing housing production, supporting economic development projects and/or increasing the number of commercial buildings accessible to persons with disabilities,” she said.
Creative Haverhill completed the purchase of the former George F. Cogswell School, 351 S. Main St., from the city in 2019. Its Capital Campaign to Reinvent Cogswell has been underway for seven years to raise the more than $2.5 million needed to purchase and renovate the 1891 school.
Padilla said MassDevelopment is particularly interested in projects that will bring activities to underutilized properties within a year.
She told the Council Mayor James J. Fiorentini also agreed to send a letter of support. She said the application due is June 1.
The Council voted unanimously to support sending a letter.