Conversion of Former St. Joseph’s School in Haverhill Receives $6.5 Million in Financing

Developer Jonathan Cody of Atlantis Investments and his lawyer, Russell S. Channen during a February 2020 meeting. (WHAV News photograph.)

The planned redevelopment of the former St. Joseph’s School into 36 apartments has received about $6.5 million in financing.

St. Joseph School of All Saints Parish, a Haverhill Catholic elementary school since 1888, closed its doors in 2017. Neighbor and parishioners alike endorsed its conversion by Atlantis Investments, operated by Jonathan Cody, into apartments when the plan went before the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2020

“Our team at Atlantis Investments is thrilled to revitalize the former St. Joseph’s schoolhouse and bring new quality housing to Haverhill,” said Cody, thanking MassDevelopment, Pentucket Bank and the City of Haverhill for “collaboration and generous support.”

MassDevelopment partnered with Pentucket Bank to provide $6,482,090 in loan financing to St. Joseph’s Schoolhouse, an affiliate of Atlantis Investments, to buy and convert the vacant building at 26 Broadway into 28 studios and eight one-bedroom market-rate rental apartments. Besides the school, the property consists of a smaller adjacent building containing a gymnasium and a candlepin bowling alley, which Atlantis plans to lease to local businesses. The developer will also use the loan financing to buy a vacant lot at 2 Federal St., where it will build a parking lot for residents.

“Many cities and towns have vacant buildings situated in prime locations that are ideal for redevelopment into housing and retail,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s board of directors. “MassDevelopment’s low-cost financing solutions and key partnerships with area banks allow developers to transform these structures into homes for regional workforces and small businesses alike.”

MassDevelopment and Pentucket Bank were 50-50 participants in the loan, while the quasi-public finance agency also provided a guarantee.  MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera said the conversion of the building will deliver “much-needed housing units.”

Established in 1888, St. Joseph’s served students ranging from nursery school through eighth grade for nearly 130 years before the Archdiocese of Boston closed the school because of declining enrollment and rising costs.

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