A family legacy and Ward Hill landmark—DiBurro’s Function Facility—may be giving way to a 6.5-acre development of 153 apartments, commercial and retail uses.
The emerging plans have been whispered about for months as the last functions were scheduled, but become formal tomorrow night as the City Council considers creating what city zoning calls a “Planned Development District” to accommodate the complex. Princeton Properties already owns the former Forest Acres apartment complex, also off Route 125.
A preliminary drawing filed with the city shows 153 apartments and a retail building on one of three lots with a total of 250 parking spaces, including a 28-space garage.
Bob and David DiBurro have continued the family’s 85-year food business. Their father, Patrick “Pasquale” DiBurro was long associated with the restaurant and catering enterprise and died in 2018 at age 77. Councilors are not expecting to take any action Tuesday as they are simply receiving notice of the plans from Princeton Properties’ Andrew M. Chabin. A hearing is expected to be scheduled next month, July 13, on amending zoning at the 887 Boston Road site and eventually considering a special permit for the project.
The proposed zoning would allow no more than 45 apartment units in any one building of not more than five stories, retail space of no more than 10,000 square feet of gross floor area and restaurant also not to exceed 10,000 square feet of gross floor area.
Lowell-based Princeton Properties has previously won the confidence of Haverhill leaders. It acquired Forest Acres in 2018, renaming its Princeton Bradford, and won permission in 2019 to add a 34-unit building at the complex. The company was unsuccessful in its bid for the former Ornsteen property along the River near the Bradford commuter rail station. It proposed 144 market rate apartments spread between two buildings and offered to pay $500,000 for the city-owned property.