State Awards Downtown Haverhill Developer Tax Credits to Help Meet Housing Demand

The Franklin Block, 200 Merrimack St., Haverhill, will house three commercial tenants and 21 studio and one-bedroom apartments. (Courtesy photograph.)

To submit Business Bulletin announcements, click on image.

A Haverhill developer, about halfway through renovating an historic downtown property into 21 apartments, was approved Tuesday for $1.3 million in state housing development tax credits aimed at encouraging more housing options and lowering costs.

Developer Jonathan Cody is in the process of restoring the 1856-era Franklin Block at 200 Merrimack St., for market rate apartments. The building, in a disconnected part of the Washington Street Shoe District, was for many years known as the home of D.J. Casey Paper Co. and other commercial tenants.

“I would like to thank Gov. Maura Healey, Secretary Edward Augustus, Mayor Melinda Barrett and everyone at the (Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities) EOHLC. These grants make projects possible in gateway communities,” Cody told WHAV.

Last year, Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. noted the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as part of the 1882 fire-ravaged area.

“This is a significant property in the downtown. It really bifurcates the Merrimack Street urban renewal area—the death of urban renewal, stopped. Thank God. The historic district was preserved beyond that,” he explained.

Healey, Driscoll and Augustus said Cody’s project was among $27 million in Housing Development Incentive Program awards that will create 547 total new units in 11 Gateway Cities across the state.

“Our Gateway Cities are vital centers for industry and culture while also being positioned to help provide the housing we need to meet the demand. These funds help make projects possible that will create hundreds of homes, revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen our communities,” Healey said.

The governor noted, as part of her $1 billion tax cuts package, that program cap was raised from $10 million to $57 million in 2023 and will be $30 million annually going forward. She said the increase allowed the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities to fund all 13 project applications this round.

Augustus pointed out, “Our vacancy rate is at an all-time low, and these awards will create much needed multi-family housing across our state.

Comments are closed.