Park, Roadway Construction Near ‘The Beck’ in Bradford Begins

Aerial view of “The Beck,” on Railroad Avenue, taken by Dellbrook construction. (Courtesy photograph.)

Construction is beginning on a redesigned intersection and the new “First Nations Park” near the site of a 290-unit housing, restaurant and retail complex, “The Beck,” on Railroad Avenue across from the Bradford commuter rail station.

A $1.95 million state infrastructure grant helps pay for a redesign to reduce traffic at the intersection of South Elm Street, Blossom Street, Laurel Avenue and Railroad Avenue near the Joseph C. Comeau Bridge. This project was part of the reason city councilors originally approved the new apartments in 2021, as WHAV previously reported.

The 60,000 square foot public park was endorsed by the Haverhill Historic Commission as well as the Native American Commemorative Task Force.

Primarily studios, one-beds and two-beds, Procopio Companies predicted construction would be completed by spring 2025 during a groundbreaking ceremony last December. The Beck offers amenities including “a fitness center, sports lounge, and outdoor space with a resort-style pool, fire pit, patio, and barbecue area,” and the nearby park will have “a playground, splashpad, dog park, and green space,” according to a press release. In addition, roadway improvements are said to bring bike lanes to Elm and Laurel.

A spokesperson for Procopio announced yesterday the new building overlooking the Merrimack River is now considered “weather-tight.”

“This milestone moves us one step closer to delivering much-needed housing to the Greater Boston market,” said Procopio Vice President of Development David Roache. “As one of the largest multifamily developments under construction in Massachusetts, situated in a prime location next to an MBTA commuter rail station, The Beck will deliver on the housing production priorities outlined by Gov. [Maura T.] Healey’s administration.”

To combat the housing shortage, the state instituted the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority—or MBTA—Communities Act, which requires municipalities with access to rail stations to create denser zoning. Though many, including Haverhill, have already signed on, the law has faced pushback in places like Milton, Holden and Marblehead.

Another of the governor’s policies, the Affordable Homes Act, proposes $6.5 billion to boost housing supply, among other initiatives. It was approved by the Massachusetts House last week and awaits review by the senate before becoming law.

As WHAV reported, construction of The Beck is one of three projects near one another. Both from the early 1900s, the Pfc. Ralph T. Basiliere Bridge and South Elm Street railroad bridge are being completely replaced using state and federal money. Slated to begin in late 2025 or early 2026, the Basiliere Bridge will not conflict with the timeline Procopio gave for The Beck.

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