For Immediate Release - July 08, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES $10.3 MILLION MASSWORKS AWARD TO CITY OF HAVERHILL

Funding will support Harbor Place project and UMass Lowell Expansion

Groundbreaking for Harbor Place Project and UMass Lowell Expansion
Governor Patrick attends the Ground Breaking for the Harbor Place Project and UMass Lowell's expansion.(Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Press Office)

HAVERHILL – Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced a $10.3 million MassWorks grant to the City of Haverhill to support the Harbor Place project and expansion of UMass Lowell. This announcement complements $9 million previously awarded to the City of Haverhill during the 2012 and 2013 competitive MassWorks rounds.

"When we partner with cities and towns by investing in local infrastructure, we support economic growth and we strengthen communities where residents can live, work and play,” said Governor Patrick. “Through this funding, we are paving the way for future opportunities that will advance economic development in Haverhill and help build a brighter future for the Commonwealth."

The combined $19.3 million MassWorks funding will help advance Haverhill’s housing, economic development and community revitalization objectives by creating a transformative, transit-oriented development that takes advantage of Haverhill’s greatest natural asset, the Merrimack River. In addition, the development project will create a satellite campus for UMass Lowell, which will be an anchor tenant at Harbor Place.

“During the Industrial Revolution, our region’s gateway cities, like Haverhill, led the way in powering American innovation,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Today, they are continuing that tradition by reinventing themselves to develop new educational, cultural and economic opportunities. Haverhill’s distinctive assets, particularly its extensive water front along the Merrimack River, will help spark this new series of infrastructure improvements and development projects, which will impact so many aspects of the city and its community well into the future. UMass Lowell will also continue its growth as one of the premier academic institutions in the region, and further enhance the opportunities to educate and innovate. I look forward to working with the Governor, the Greater Haverhill Community Foundation, the City of Haverhill, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and other partners as this plan is put into action, and thank them all for their support and efforts."

The funding will directly support Phase I of Harbor Place, which will feature new housing, commercial and retail opportunities including the development of approximately 53,500 gross square feet of space in a five floor building. Two of the floors will be occupied by the UMass Lowell satellite campus, one floor will be leased by Pentucket bank, which is moving their operations center to downtown Haverhill, one floor will be occupied by Haverhill Community TV, which is being financed by Haverhill Bank and the remaining floor will be developed by the Greater Haverhill Foundation. This project will also support the creation of 50 units of affordable housing and 30 units of market-rate housing. Approximately 16,500 gross square feet of retail and restaurant uses are currently planned along Merrimack Street and the Merrimack River.

“We remain committed to working with local communities to support growth and spur regional development,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnerships with Haverhill and municipalities across the state, as well as private industry leaders, to promote continued growth in every region of the Commonwealth.”

The MassWorks funding will enable streetscape improvements along Merrimack Street; utility relocation; the construction of a new boardwalk; abatement and demolition of deteriorating structures along Merrimack Street; construction of a raised platform for the new development; creation of direct pedestrian access to the river and underground parking; and the creation of a large public riverfront park. The MassWorks project is expected to be completed by June 2016.  All of these components will be developed on a currently underutilized block, and will result in the creation of approximately 310 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs.

“Today is a transformative day for the City of Haverhill, we appreciate the support of Governor Patrick, Secretary Bialecki and Chairman Dempsey for their shared vision of our downtown," said Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. "This public/private project will create jobs and a new development in our downtown area.”

“Harbor Place offers all of the elements that will revitalize and spur economic growth in Haverhill," said State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives."With Chairman Dempsey’s leadership Harbor Place will consist of education, housing,  small businesses and has the potential to grow the tourism industry while securing jobs.  As Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development I know the impact tourism has on the economy and I’m focused on strategies and opportunities to grow this industry.”  

“Harbor Place will serve all residents of the Merrimack Valley by providing a beautiful access to the River, and educational opportunities for a first class education,” said Representative Linda Campbell. “This will make Haverhill a first class tourist destination.”

"I join my fellow Haverhill legislators in celebrating the announcement of this important grant,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio. “This funding is critical toward the success of the Harbor Place project and I look forward to seeing the improvements take shape over the months and years to come.”

Harbor Place is being developed through a unique partnership of two non-profit organizations, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Inc., (POUA) a well-known regional mixed-use developer, and The Greater Haverhill Foundation (GHF), a Haverhill organization that promotes business and economic development in the City. 

“Without the Commonwealth's support and the strong leadership of Governor Patrick and Chairman Dempsey  this development would not have been possible,” said Lisa Alberghini, President of POUA. “We greatly appreciate their extraordinary vision, and the great commitment of Mayor Fiorentini and the City as well."

"The Commonwealth and City commitments will enable us to achieve the goal of economic development for Haverhill and for the region,” said GHF President Ron Trombley.

Including today’s announcement, the Patrick administration has invested $22.3 million since 2007 for the revitalization of downtown Haverhill. The targeted public investment has supported the creation of over 500 new housing units and the continued revitalization of the downtown.

In January 2013, UMass Lowell announced that it would open a satellite campus in downtown Haverhill. The Haverhill satellite campus will offer students the option of traditional classroom learning and hybrid programs that combine online and in-person instruction for ‘blended learning.’

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