Podcast: Pentucket Bank Closes Main Office Today in Prep For Redevelopment, Reopens Riverside

Pentucket Bank reopens a substantially remodeled Riverside branch at 120 Lincoln Ave, Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph.)

Pentucket Bank closes its main branch today and opens a temporary downtown office as well as a revamped Riverside branch—all in preparation for a $160 million downtown Haverhill redevelopment.

The long-considered plans, first reported by WHAV more than two years ago and confirmed last year, are now taking shape following developer Salvatore N. Lupoli’s closing on city and bank land. The mixed-use housing and retail project covers White’s Corner through the entirety of what is known as the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck. Pentucket Bank CEO Jonathan H. Dowst and President Eric G. Leuteritz detailed the plans Tuesday morning for WHAV listeners.

“We’ve been planning our stadium branch renovation for quite some time. It was a little bit delay in construction but it will be opening this week. Related to that, really choreographed, we will also be also be closing our Merrimack Street, Main Street branch at One Merrimack Street and opening a temporary branch across the street at HC Media,” Dowst explained.

Dowst and Leuteritz appeared live on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program. While there will be a full-service branch nearby with the reopening of the Pentucket Bank branch on Lincoln Avenue, Leuteritz says a temporary branch will hold the bank’s place at White’s Corner.

“It will be a cashless branch, so you won’t be able to take cash in, but you’ll be able to do most of the transactions. You can get a new debit card, you can open an account, you can get inquiries, there will be somebody staffed there basically 40 hours a week. Then, any other type of transaction, we have a new ATM over next to Barrios. We’ve had an ATM there for awhile, but this one will take deposits as well rather than just dispense cash,” he said.

Dowst noted Lupoli’s forthcoming a 600-car parking garage, food pavilion and housing., but emphasized Pentucket Bank will return to One Merrimack St., but in a new building. “So, that entire building is being demolished as part of the redevelopment. When we build it back, though, we’ll have safe deposit boxes, a vault. It will be a full-service branch and that’s probably 12 to 15 months away,” he said.

Dowst went on to give a bit of history.

“It’s really important to us to take a community leadership role and invest in the downtown. We’ve always done that. We did it at Harbor Place. We did it at One Merrimack Street when we bought that branch—it was originally doctors’ offices, if you go way back, part of Pentucket Medical—and we have invested in that over time, and now it’s time to give way. If you notice, the Merrimack Street intersection there narrows, and it really is a traffic choke point. The town has wanted to redevelop that and widen that intersection for years. Without our offices being sold into the development, they couldn’t do that. This allows for the redevelopment they way the town would like to redevelop it,” Dowst explained.

Lupoli’s kicked off the five-acre redevelopment in December with a groundbreaking ceremony in front of the parking deck—a project former Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini described as the capstone of his career.

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