Councilors Approve New 34-Unit Apartment Building at Former Forest Acres Complex

Princeton Bradford, formerly known as Forest Acres, won permission Tuesday night to add a 34-unit building at the apartment complex off South Main Street. Haverhill City Councilors voted 8-0 in favor of the new two-story building after hearing no opposition. One- and two-bedroom apartments would today rent from $1,800 to $2,250, said Andrew M. Chaban, CEO of Princeton Properties. He said the intentional lack of three-bedroom apartments will reduce pressure on the city’s school system. Engineer Andrea Lothrop from Boston-based Howard Stein Hudson told councilors there will be 19 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom units in the building to be sited on a vacant two-and-a-half-acre parcel within the existing complex.

Councilors Approve Haverhill Consentino School Roof Repairs by 5-3 Vote

A last-minute compromise Tuesday night saw Haverhill city councilors approve paying for temporary roof repairs at the Albert B. Consentino School. Councilors voted 5-3 with one absent to transfer $400,000 to pay for roof work aimed at plugging 95% of leaks until major renovations take place in a few years. The vote, postponed from two weeks ago, at first was destined for defeat. City Councilor Timothy J. Jordan appeared to have lined up four votes against transferring $129,000 away from an account for roof repairs at Haverhill High School’s Charles C. White Pool. “Promises that are made when we negotiate something in good faith that you’re going to live up to your end of the bargain when we’ve lived up to our end, I have a fundamental problem with that and I can’t support that,” he said.

Vargas: Haverhill Facing a Significant Housing ‘Crisis’

Making rent, coming up with down payments or simply keeping a roof over one’s head is a becoming a significant problem in Haverhill, state Rep. Andy Vargas tells WHAV. In fact, the sophomore Beacon Hill policymaker went so far as to call the issue a “crisis,” telling co-host Ralph Basiliere that housing is the biggest worry faced by his constituents in recent months. “We all know how much of a crisis this is—and I would call it a crisis,” he said. “The No. 1 issue that we get calls for in my office has to do with housing, whether it’s people being forced out of their homes, people that can’t find rent in Haverhill, can’t come up with down payments to qualify for some of the mortgage programs that are out there.

KidsFEST 2019 Is Saturday, May 4: What to Expect at the Washington Street Fair

Heads’ up, Haverhill: KidsFEST 2019 is coming! This year, the annual family-friendly street fair is returning to the city’s downtown business district on Saturday, May 4, held on the stretch of Washington Street between Casa Blanca restaurant and The Tap. According to Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Events Director Melissa Seavey, the scaled down affair was orchestrated in an effort to appease downtown neighbors so they can go about their business on a busy Saturday when the event takes place between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Seavey is optimistic about consolidating the event, which carries a “Dr. Seuss” theme, to a smaller area. “Here’s hoping that we have the perfect location for a downtown event,” Seavey says. In addition to live music from acts including Thomasina Glenn and Be Imagine’s Bliss and Chaotic Sanity, Creative Haverhill holds its first juried youth art show at 90 Washington St., with art on display from artists in grades pre-K through 12.

PHOTO: Haverhill Artist Grassie Showcases Marathon-Inspired Work at Boston Statehouse

From the shoe city to Beacon Hill. Haverhill artist Jeff Grassie last week brought his latest artwork, a piece called “Invisible,” to the Boston Statehouse, for an art installation at the request of Haverhill and Methuen state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell for a public art exhibition, Grassie tells WHAV. For his contribution, Grassie included a piece that showcases a wheelchair racer impacted by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. After his piece was on display, Grassie enjoyed a private reception with Gov. Charlie Baker, who inquired about exhibiting his piece elsewhere in Boston. “We had a great discussion on how and why I created this artwork.

State Clears Haverhill Principal, Staff in Restraint Case; Second Agency Finds Program Faults

A Haverhill principal and four other staff, placed on paid leave after a student assault March 29, have been cleared of any wrongdoing and are expected to return to work immediately. The action by the state Department of Children and Families comes on the heels of state education department findings that this year’s changes to a special education program were made in defiance of state and federal regulations. The two developments are related in that teachers and parents have argued the changes at the center of the state report led to increased “acting out” episodes by special needs students. As of Tuesday afternoon, city officials could not say when Haverhill Alternative School Principal John DePolo and four staff members would return to their jobs. It is the second time since October that DePolo was forced off the job and then exonerated in incidents involving restraint of a student.

PHOTOS: Building Renovations Underway at J.G. Whittier; Fiorentini Touts ‘Great’ Progress

Children and families of John Greenleaf Whittier Middle School: Relief is on the way. Over last week’s school vacation, the Haverhill Public Schools facilities department, under the direction of School Maintenance Director Heather Forgione, headed to the Concord Street school to start on long-awaited building upgrades. By the time students were back to class Monday, newly remodeled boys’ bathrooms were ready for use. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini checked out the progress later that day, calling the improvements a step in the right direction. “New sinks, stalls, urinals, floor, ceiling, fixtures and a fresh paint job.

Princeton Properties Seeks to Add 32-Unit Garden Style Building to Forest Acres Lot

Haverhill’s City Council Tuesday night intends to consider a proposal from the Lowell-based Princeton Properties management group to add a 32-unit garden style apartment building to the existing Forest Acres community in Bradford. Now known as “Princeton Bradford,” the 45-year-old apartment complex purchased by Princeton Properties is in the early stages of a three-year improvement plan that will see the complex’s 49 existing buildings—410 units—and various facilities receives interior and exterior upgrades. Princeton Executive Vice President Sarah Greenough walked WHAV exclusively through the changes last November. “If you read the history of the property, it had such a wonderful communal spirit years ago when it first was conceptualized. It had all sorts of community events and it had a really nice resident base.