Merrimack Place, Haverhill’s First Major Water Street Housing in 50 Years, Opens in 2024

Rep. Andy X. Vargas and state Sen. Pavel Payano congratulate Jered Stewart, executive director of Bethany Community Services. (Courtesy photograph.)

Merrimack Place, the first large scale housing development on downtown’s Haverhill Water Street in more than 50 years, is officially underway.

Bethany Community Services, the nonprofit that already owns and operates nearby Merrivista, Mission Towers and Phoenix, ceremonially broke ground Friday for 48 new, affordable senior apartments adjacent to its Merrivista building.

Bethany President and CEO Jered Stewart welcomed the approximately 75 guests and highlighted the need for affordable senior housing and collaboration of various public and private partnerships that made the building project possible.

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas and Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini spoke about their longstanding support, while Sens. Pavel Payano and Barry R. Finegold and state Auditor Diana DiZoglio presented citations.

Others delivering congratulatory messages were Carrie Knudson, investment officer with Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation; Lisa Sheehan, senior vice president of Eastern Bank; and Roger Herzog, executive director of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.

Merrimack Place, as originally envisioned, was to house 62 units. Bethany Director of Marketing and Administration Beth Grady explained to WHAV, however, that “inflation was taking off and the cost of materials and supplies increased significantly, which led to an overall increase in the project of over 30%. To make the project work we had to reduce the size by eliminating one floor bringing it down to 48 units.”

Bethany was one of the first companies during the mid-1960s to be designated as developers of Pentucket Urban Renewal Project parcels. The once-bustling shopping and housing district was largely demolished between the Merrimack River and Summer Street and Main and Mill Streets.

Construction of Merrimack Place is expected to be complete by late summer of 2024. The new building will be an extension of the Merrivista building, 100 Water St., and also feature a health and wellness center and a connected covered walkway, giving residents access to a full-service dining room, library, hair salon and other supportive services.

Financial support for the project came from Massachusetts Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Dorfman Capital, George C. Wadleigh Foundation, City of Haverhill – HOME Funds, North Shore HOME Consortium and Charles H. Farnsworth Trust.

Construction partners include Allegrone Companies, Davis Square Architects, Hancock Associates and 3C Commercial Construction Consulting.

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