Plan for 113 Residential Units Downtown Before Haverhill City Council Tonight

Site plan for proposed 113-unit residential building at 85 Water St., Haverhill.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill city councilors will hear a new proposal tonight to build a 113-unit multifamily building on a long-vacant parcel along downtown Haverhill’s waterfront.

Developer 85 Water Street Development, managed by Louis P. Minicucci Jr. of Minco Development, is requesting a special permit to build the mostly one-bedroom project. It also seeks a waiver to build 30 more units than the maximum limit. In a letter to councilors earlier this year, attorney Robert W. Lavoie said the project would still contain the same number of bedrooms—127—councilors previously approved for developer Frank Franzone.

“The applicant proposes to greatly increase the number of smaller units in order to make the project both more attractive and more affordable to the demographic groups typically shut out of waterfront residential opportunities due to larger luxury-sized units containing two and even three bedrooms,” Lavoie wrote.

The new plan calls for 49 studios, 50 one-bedroom units and 14 two-bedroom units. The units would occupy a five-story, wood-frame building over a one-story garage on the 1.2-acre site. There would be 159 parking spaces.

Lavoie said the developer is taking advantage of the city’s Waterfront Zoning District rules which allow for more residential units, known as a “density bonus,” in exchange for providing pedestrian access to the Merrimack River, preserve waterfront views. Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. said in a letter to councilors he opposes the waiver for 30 more units since, even with the allowed bonus, the maximum allowed is 83.

The property was last home to a dance club known as Friends Landing. The site was first developed, however, in 1969 by Charles A. and Donald A. Basiliere for their Capt’n Chris Restaurant. The family’s Chris Fish Market at approximately the same address was demolished during the Pentucket Urban Renewal Project.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., online and in person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., room 202. As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to present the meeting live.

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