With Neighbors’ Blessing, Haverhill Council Allows Conversion of Funeral Home to Condominiums

Flagpole, as seen in 2018, when it served the former Grondin-Carnevale Funeral Home, 129 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A contractor looking to develop multi-family condominiums on Kenoza Avenue in Haverhill received praise for working with neighbors to shape the look of the project.

Mazraany Constuction of Salem, N.H., first approached the Haverhill City Council back in September seeking to convert the Grondin-Carnevale Funeral Home, 125-129 Kenoza Ave., into seven housing units. At the time, some neighbors expressed concerns about the plan. As a result, the developer agreed to delay his special permit request in order to meet with those neighbors to work out a plan suitable to everyone.

At last night’s City Council meeting, Attorney Robert D. Harb, representing the developer, told the Council, that is exactly what happened.

“We had one Zoom meeting with the neighbors before our last hearing. We had one in-person. Since that last hearing, we’ve had two more meetings with the neighbors and the association and that caused the creation of new plans and new designs. This is a neighborhood that we’re going to fit into and I think better fit in with this new plan,” he said.

Harb said the new plan, developed with input from the Haverhill Highlands Association, will have a more Victorian look to better fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. It will also feature more green space and move parking so that garage doors will not be visible from the road.

Jason M. Jussif applauded the collaboration, calling it a model for how all new construction should be undertaken.

“I think these talks went very well. I enjoyed this process quite a bit and I feel this should be a sort of model of how development goes on throughout the city,” he said.

The Council agreed, adding a stipulation the contractor continue to work with the neighborhood association while construction is underway.

Councilor William J. Macek also suggested requirements the developer post a performance bond and that no occupancy permits be allowed until the building’s exterior is completed according to plans. He also proposed conditions that a finished landscape and a façade matching the builder’s concept require the Council’s final signoff.

Councilors approved the special permit with the conditions by a vote of 8-0 with Councilor Michael S. McGonagle absent.

Back in April, Mazraany Construction won Council approval to convert a companion Bradford funeral home at 52 Salem St. into three housing units.

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